Friday, September 28, 2012

The Plaza Art Fair and Fall Fashion.

HEY! Before you read (and comment, right?) about the crazy adventures at the Plaza Art Fair, click over and support Rachel's effort to raise money for Everyone Should Get to Run (if they want to!). She's raising money to fix a little guy's club foot in honor of her 8th marathon. I'm so proud of her, proud that our little buddy Finley can run and hope that you will join us in supporting this awesome project. With a great name. Because I actually don't want to run.

Last Friday we went to the Plaza Art Fair and had a grand old time. We were also reminded that I am terrible at math. I had three beers but miscalculated how many ounces of beer were in each cup. Anne's husband Ashley informed me I actually had more like five beers which explains why that spin class was SO hard on Saturday morning. Whoops. I'm more of a reader than a mathematician anyways.

It was crazy crowded at the Art Fair, but the night was perfect. We saw lots of people we knew and spent a little bit of time poking around in the different booths. My friend Abbey is the only person I know who always finds something to buy - she has a good eye for finding reasonably priced art and actually has artist friends that she always goes to see at the fair!

Our favorite incident of the night was running into some ladies we knew who asked if we had many any purchases. "Um, no..." we replied, most of it was way out of our price range.

"Neither have we! And this is the kind of place we can drop $3400 like its no big deal. The Plaza Art Fair is like our Target!"


This fall is a fun one for fashion. We're finding excuses to embrace the trends. Erica got mustard skinny jeans, I got a brand new bag that my friend Katherine lovingly calls "BIG RED!" Her pants and my bag are two of favorite POPS of color, and they are pretty in your face! I'm currently on the hunt for the perfect new flats that have cap toes and fit my long skinny feet.

This blog will never be a fashionista blog, but fall fashion is both a fun thing and a challenge for us. At least 1/7 of every week is football related, and we are always sporting purple. (Did you see that our Wildcats are in the Top 10?!) So sometimes it's fun to put together the clothes for the other fun activities of the week!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Birthday Calendars.

Tuesday night at book club I had a surprise for everyone. Well not everyone - Anne, Abbey and Leah all ended up helping along the way! There are nine of us in book club, and with the exception of me and Abbey, all of our birthdays are in different months. Add in anniversaries and babies' birthdays and that's a lot of dates!

Anne and I saw a need for a perpetual calendar with all of the important days listed. She set to work collecting/confirming the important details, and I started drafting a design. We figured we would get them all printed, bound and provide them as a surprise for friends. We estimated they would be less than $5 or $6 a pop, so it seemed like a great little project.

AND then, Abbey and I went to visit Leah at Hallmark. We found these beautiful little stand-up calendars in the double discount store for about $2 a piece. SOLD. I picked up ten of them and began to fill them in for free.

Everyone loved them on Tuesday night because they came fully loaded with everyone's dates. The design is pretty cute too! I also made one for my sister for her birthday with all of our family's birthdays as well. I've already double checked mine a couple of times and it has a prominent place in my updated office (more to come!).

Thinking ahead for Christmas gifts for your family? Wish you had access to the Hallmark Double Discount Store? I know. It IS awesome. Don't worry - you have other options. Rachel just bought this sweet calendar online, and you could print and customize it for your extended family. Or book club.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In Between.

I took these photos last week when we ate at Takashi. The lighting was sort of tricky and so were my subjects. I'm just wrapping up the posts from my weekend jaunt to Chicago, which is good because Jennie and Joe arrive on Friday. They're not coming to see just me; Jennie is a bridesmaid in a wedding. It will be my first time hosting TWO people in my little house, but I think Belle and I are ready!

Even with my dedication to extra sleep, life is wearing me out a bit! Mortar Board at UMKC, Junior League Leadership Institute and a few other miscellaneous commitments have filled the evenings. I'm in my second week of activities every single night, and I'm kind of tired. Getting stuff done and going to meetings is a lot of action.

When I lived in Virginia, I participated in a young adults group at my church that met every other Thursday night. It was a great, mostly casual group that I really enjoyed. For most of last year back in Kansas, I struggled with finding a place in my new church. Erica and Jon joined a small group for young marrieds - I clearly couldn't join with them - and I considered many options from casual young adult gatherings to other small groups. I took one four week class, but nothing else.

This year I jumped at the chance to take a 12-week class with Erica and our friend Lauren. It's one that has pushed me to look at my own life and to see how God's presence has shaped my story. We're talking about peaks and valleys right now. It requires a lot of reflection, but the stories that we tell/hear each week are powerful and important.

I love the class, but about two weeks ago I realized that it was too much. I cannot sustain another weekly commitment, even one that is valuable.

Honestly, I feel guilty about it. I have many friends that are in small groups that meet weekly, and they depend upon and love that fellowship. Maybe if I were married it would make a difference? Maybe I should re-prioritize my life so I do have time for that weekly commitment?

The counter argument that I make in my head is that I'm using God's gifts in a way he designed for me by serving in the community and spending time with friends and organizations I love.

I'm still evaluating, prioritizing and studying how these things impact my life. But I've seen over the last two weeks that my quiet time in the morning has suffered. When meetings keep me out of the house until after 9, and I'm packing my lunch in a hurry after computer time is over or early the next morning, I do not make and have time to sit with my Bible in the morning. This is the consistency I need and crave more than a small group right now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Takashi in Chicago.

I went to Takashi for dinner Sunday night in Chicago with Jennie, Joe and Gaby. You may know the name of the restaurant if you've been watching Top Chef Masters. I have not (you know, no cable), but I love all things Top Chef related. Chef Takashi does pretty amazing stuff at this restaurant. 

The special on Sunday nights is noodles! It's a little less formal, which was great after our busy bachelorette and shower filled weekend. It was a cool evening too - I needed a scarf while we walked - so soup and noodles was perfect.

But first we had to have the duck fat fried chicken. Literally, the best fried chicken I have ever had. And Joe is a stickler on the use of the word literally, so I mean it when I say it was literally the best.

Jennie and Joe both chose the Ramen noodles and I had the Soba. My dish was hearty and rich, and as a bonus I ordered it with tempura vegetables and shrimp. I know they were fried vegetables, but they were also just lovely, especially dipped in the great broth. This is how Chef Takashi made it on Top Chef Masters - he can fry chicken and vegetables very very well.

We walked home after dinner, full and happy. It was cool outside, but our bellies and hearts were warm. As we ate dinner, we talked about what our "last meal" would be. It had to be something we had eaten before, not something we'd still like to try. Mine is the perfect Georgetown trifecta of popcorn shrimp at Tackle Box, a smurfette cupcake from Baked & Wired, and a final round of mango/original tart yogurt loaded with toppings at Pinkberry. I've thought a long time about this, and that's what I'm going with for my last meal.

Or Giacomo's and Mike's Pastry in Boston. So maybe I'm not totally decided. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tablescapes Preview Party.

Mom and I did something totally fun last Tuesday night - we went to the Tablescapes Preview Party down at the American Royal. The actual event is a luncheon on Wednesday, but we got a sneak peak of all the great stuff. Local designers and stores set up these gorgeous tables - everything on their tables and in their booth is for sale, plus attendees are assigned one of the tables for lunch on Wednesday.

Our event was more of a stroll with a margarita type of event, which was fine with me! We saw so many beautiful tables and there were plenty of things we wanted to buy. I found more items I loved than at Holiday Mart last year, but I only took home a burlap runner for my dining room table. The table above was from Nell Hill's and sort of a throw back to items I think my mom has had for years - nice plaid table runners and plates with birds on them.

I loved the wrapped chairs from Schaffer House in Jefferson City. I've been using a lot of turqouise lately, and the combination with the fall colors and reflective vases jumped out at me.

There were plenty of tributes to the American Royal and a love of livestock in the booths. One store had reasonably priced canvases with various steers on them, and they sold out in twenty minutes before we could get one!

It's nice because it's not just holiday decorations but also real, concrete ideas of what to do for holiday decorating. A few of the tables were over the top and for display only. Unless you want to have a dinner party where you can't see the guests on the other side of the table because there are large wooden skis sticking out. Just saying, someone didn't think that through.

We saw lots of people that we knew at the event, and we were there almost three hours while we snacked, shopped and caught up with friends. The American Royal is also home to an awesome/cheesy museum about livestock and the history of the Royal. I'm sure there is a less cool version of the photo above lurking somewhere from my childhood. We went to the museum. A lot. Mom was big on Kansas City events and places.

Luckily she still is and took me to Tablescapes this year.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last Night at NBC Channel 41.

My family loves loves loves NBC, especially our local news anchors. We can easily watch from 5:00 to 6:30 each night. And I've always joked that you know you are from Kansas City when people argue about who their favorite weather man (or lady) is. This never happened in DC - we just watched the weather! But in Kansas City, people swear by their weather guys. It's not unusual to hear someone reference Gary Lezak in first person in conversation. "Well, Gary says it is going to cool off by kickoff on Saturday."

True story.

So when I found out my Leadership Institute from Junior League was going to work with Christa Dubill, I was pretty pumped. And when she invited us to watch a show at the station and meet with her there, I thought I was going to die.

This is literally one of the most exciting things to happen to me since I moved home.

We met with Christa a long time and watched all of the 6 o'clock news live from in the studio. Here's some things I learned.
  • Jack Harry does not wear socks, like ever, while reporting the sports.
  • There are a lot of screens and cameras in the studio that make it feel small-ish, but it really all happens in that room. The weather tvs, the screens, and even Kansas City Live, the morning show. 
  • Michelle Obama helped make the change in what female news anchors wear. Less suits, more stuff that real women wear. We were pretty fascinated by some of the details in how Christa prepares hair, wardrobe, and balances a working mom schedule!
  • They purposefully try to end a minute or so early so that the next show already has you hooked and ready to go before 6:30. 
  • The people at Channel 41 also miss Wheel of Fortune on at 6:30 pm.
  • Gary Lezak is as loveable, dorky and AWESOME in real life as he is on TV. During one of the commercials, he talked to us about how his suit was missing the top button, but he thought he could pull it off. During another commercial, he taught us how to fold a four-point pocket square.
  • In between the 6 and the 10 o'clock newscasts, Gary and Jeff Penner went to 810 Zone at Harrah's because Gary has a frequent dining card. They also miss the 810 Zone on the Plaza.
  • Christa Dubill loves the show Parenthood.  
  • They actually really do like each other, and it totally shows on the set.

There were several meeting items that we had to take care of tonight for Junior League. After we were done, I totally geeked out and asked Christa to take a photo with me! The lighting wasn't great, but at least there is proof that I was there. As we were walking out, I mentioned how my mom and sister were big fans as well. I casually mentioned that many people were jealous I was going, including my friend Jon. I told Christa, "Jon said if I can only do one thing while I'm at the station, I should touch Jack Harry's hair."

She said, "Let's DO IT! He'll love it!"

So she took me downstairs with one of group leaders and introduced us to Jack Harry. And I asked to touch his hair. See my hand moving? I'm actually touching his hair! Also, he's not super tall.

It's actually very soft and springy! Also, Jack Harry is kind of a softy. He was super nice - which I'm not sure I would have guessed from just watching his sports casts. Then we talked K-State football for a while. Lance Veesar was working right next door and enjoyed the whole embarassing scene.

And, you know what? I loved the whole thing.

Bonus picture from Christa Dubill this morning of our group watching the newscast!
PS. When Gary saw our big group in the studio, he said, "Christa! Why didn't you tell me you had people coming? I would have brought Stormy!" That is literally the only thing that could have made this thing better.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Morning Walk with Sydney and Jennie.

The trip to Chicago was so busy and full with a shower and the bachlorette party. But one of my favorite parts was an impromptu walk with Jennie and puppy Sydney. First thing on Saturday morning, Jennie took Sydney outside to take care of business. I was finishing up a book and Jennie text up to Gaby and me, "Does anyone want to walk for coffee?" I said, "ME! But I have to finish these last five pages." The book was pretty great.

I threw on some walking pants and a sweatshirt and hurried down to meet Jennie and Sydney. We started our super leisurely walk through the Bucktown neighborhood. It was a lovely morning. I am a huge fan of being able to walk places - that's why I love my neighborhood too. We peeked in houses and just talked. Those first slow, sleepy conversations of the morning are sometimes the best.

There was a long line at Starbucks, which surprised me because Jennie's neighbors love their independent shops. But it was super yummy, and we started the day with two lattes.

Sydney sometimes has a mind of his own. He was done walking right here on these bricks, which was fine with me so I could capture his sweet spotted face. I love my friends' kids - even their furry ones.

Let me tell you the truth - these are the real perks of being a maid-of-honor - the extra time to share stories, laughs and lattes with a very dear friend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting Stuff Done.

One of my favorite blogs series is over at Mimi & Meg. It's the Get S#@T Done series, and I really will read every word of one of those posts. I like to know what successful people do to get stuff done daily and weekly. Or at least how they try!

I try really hard to get stuff done, and I'm mildly successful. I'm writing this down because something might help you or convince you that I sleep and can get overwhelmed like a normal person. 

I've been back at work for nine weeks and about a month ago, I had to get some stuff figured out to balance my work and outside of work responsibilities. The first big change was related to sleep schedule! During the second week of August, I declared to Rachel, "No more computer after 10 pm." No finishing up blog posts, last minute changes to etsy orders, and emails/tweets/facebook conversations with Rachel or gchats with Jennie. I also decided I was going to not talk on the phone/text after 10 either.

This is super challenging, and I'm successful about 3 to 4 school nights a week. Sometimes it's hard to get everything wrapped up if I've been at a meeting or with friends in the evening, but it makes a huge difference, and I get more time to read. YEAH! I am not one of those people who falls asleep easily. My wound up brain needs a little bit of time to unwind with books, and I usually turn my light off at 10:50 or just after 11 at the latest.

This early (for me) bedtime means that I can pull off a 5:55 am wake-up call, getting up with the puppy and NPR's Morning Edition as soon as the alarm sounds. For the first time in my life, I get up at the same time every morning regardless of what I need to do in the morning. I used to play the "five minute game," setting the alarm for five extra minutes if I stayed up late reading, blogging, straightening my hair, packing a lunch, etc. Not anymore - no cheating allowed. And I've been on time and in my office before the students go through metal detectors more time this year than the months of April and May last year. I know, I AM embarrassed.

I use an elaborate two list system to keep my life and job responsibilities organized, but that deserves its own post. I plan my food and shop on the weekend. Because I have the luxury of cooking for one, this adds to the ease during the week. I make dinner no more than twice and then leftover it up and pack easy food for lunch! All laundry has to be done by Sunday night because there isn't time during the week, not to mention it stresses me out.

And if you're still reading this and wondering when I have time to blog, that also has to be prepared in advance. Because Etsy can be unpredictable and needs to be addressed during the week, I try to prepare the photos for a week's worth of posts on the weekend. Adding the words is the fast point, and an easy brain break after a long day of work. Posting has gotten significantly faster over the years, and a longer post takes me closer to 30 minutes instead of an hour. But sometimes it still takes an hour.

Because I no longer have diet coke as my crutch and a busier than normal schedule, I'm super glad I made these changes. I am not perfect and some weeks don't go according to plan. For example, because I traveled last weekend I had to do laundry on a Tuesday. But the greater amounts of sleep means that more gets done during the day. It took a year of living alone to figure out that bedtime makes all the difference. Why didn't anyone ever tell me to just go to bed?

Just kidding. Rachel, my mom and Erica have always told me that. I just didn't listen.

PS. I would gladly trade all this organization for the chaos of a boyfriend and eventually a family. Just saying. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bachelorette, Chicago Style.

On Saturday, we had a few hours in between the shower and the bachelorette party. Jennie took a much deserved nap, and in a brilliant dash of forward planning, I made two casseroles. We had a Sunday brunch planned with the groomsmen, and I was glad I squeezed in that casserole prep before the night got crazy.

We didn't have to do any cooking for the party because we had some yummy appetizers catered. Bridesmaid Lauren's house was perfect for the party and all of us could hang out together enjoying the food, drinks and a game. Jennie's mom, aunt Donna, and future mother-in-law all joined in the fun, plus so many of Jennie's great friends. I'm loving these women but it should be no wonder though. Anyone who is a friend to Jennie is a friend to me!

In another stroke of great forward planning, Bridesmaid Karen ordered a party bus. Not for the whole night but just to get us from point A to point B. It was fantastic. We grabbed a drink for the road and cruised the thirty minutes to the Kit Kat Lounge.

Jennie's only request for the whole day was to see drag queens, so we obliged. It was not a full on show, but one performer (Sunny Dee-light) who would come out and sing a couple of songs every twenty minutes or so. It was perfect for the group of us because we could sit in our comfy chairs and dance along. I loved the whole thing because we had (again) set so much of it up in advance that we didn't have to worry while we were there. Drinks, dessert, reserved table - all done ahead. I also loved it because I love pop music. You should have seen me when she sang "Call Me Maybe." I died.

I really did have so much fun! I didn't bring my camera or my phone along, so there are no more pictures from the rest of the night on here. But I do have Lauren and Rachel's cell phone numbers memorized. About midnight I text both of them from Jennie's phone to tell them I was having SO much fun. They didn't respond. Hmmm... We made one more stop and danced a little more before we headed home for the night.

The next morning I felt more like I was 29 and not a dancing machine. I was sure glad I made those casseroles the day before. We had such a great time and really accomplished what a good bachelorette party should do - we celebrated the bride-to-be!

Monday, September 17, 2012

All Together Now.

Friday after work I flew to Chicago for a bridal blitz weekend. This was the first time all the bridesmaids were in one spot. From left, Karen and Lauren live in Chicago, me in town from Kansas City, and on the far right Gaby was in from California. Being all together felt right - we all balance each other pretty well, and I know that the wedding day will be so super fun! We are all very tall. Except Gaby. But she can kick my butt in yoga and surfing, so I know not to mess with her.

Saturday was our big day with a bridal shower hosted by Joe's parents as well as the bachelorette party. Jennie wore a vintage lace dress that fit her perfectly. Joe always looks pretty dapper, and he suited up and came along for the nice shower. It wasn't a couple's shower, but I know everyone appreciated seeing Joe because it was a mix of Joe's family members and ladies they know through Joe's world - sister-in-laws, nieces, aunts, cousins, and wives of college/law school friends!

Joe is the "Spencer Luhrs" of his family! He is the youngest of nine from a blended family, and I love meeting all the family members and making the connections. His niece was there, and she's old enough to be married and having a baby! When Jennie marries Joe, she not only will become an aunt but a great aunt! This could totally happen to Spencer's wife. You know, when he finishes high school and college. Not anytime soon.

I've been close to Jennie's family since middle school when we became friends. I treasure the time with Jennie's mom, Jane, and 'aunt' Donna (both in the picture above with Joe and his dad). I put it in quotation marks because even though she's not her actual aunt, she's Jane's closest confidant and partner in crime. I love that that kind of friendship was always modeled for Jennie and me. I think watching Jane and Donna as friends across many miles as helped Jennie and I stay close across many miles!

Lunch was yummy, present opening super efficient and fun with four bridesmaids helping out, and we all received the nicest party favor. Joe's mom collected recipes from all of the guests and put them together for everyone, not just the bride and groom. I have my own spiral bound collection of family recipes - and many have great family photos as well! Such a sweet memory from this wedding season.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The BOTAR Fall Meeting.

Thursday felt like FALL, didn't it? So much so that I needed to wear a sweatshirt in the house. That's dreamy! My ideal fall day finishes with something warm to eat or drink and a crewneck sweatshirt.

Another thing that really makes me feel like it is fall is the beginning of BOTAR season. Lauren and I were both lucky enough to be BOTARs  in 2007 and 2008. It's a little tricky to explain, but BOTAR (Belles of the American Royal) is a Kansas City based organization that supports activities at the American Royal. My favorite events are the school tours where kiddos like some of my students get to see a cow in real life for the very first time. It's awesome. There are many other educational aspects to the Royal plus some serious livestock competition. And the barbeque.

As a BOTAR, we also participated in a kinda fancy ball with a custom made dress and about thirty other young Kansas City women wearing the exact same dress and doing a choreographed waltz for eight minutes. There are also large ostrich feather fans and long white gloves.

Sometime, if you're lucky, I'll show you pictures of me dancing with the fan. It's pretty special.

Lauren and I enjoy staying involved with BOTAR. I'm the assistant to the president this year which is not nearly as important as it sounds. Basically I plan the meeting logistics three times a year, a job I love. Table centers and menu planning? Yes, please.

We repurposed Abbey's IKEA lanterns from her wedding for this fall's meeting as well as adding some great silhouette shapes. Everything was navy and khaki at the meeting, a very preppy kick off. We met the new BOTAR class, stuffed ourselves on tasty biscuit sandwiches (that I don't remember ordering and loved anyways) and saw this year's dress.

This little snapshot is a good one of me with my sister, plus the president I'm working for and her sister-in-law. BOTAR sister extravaganza. Not everyone stays as involved, and I'm so glad I have a sister to go with me to the events. Mom and I are going to a different BOTAR event on Tuesday night. It's something we all love to do together here in Kansas City - bring on the fall festivities!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day Trip to Versailles.

On a rainy overcast in June, Mom and I made a day trip from Paris to Versailles. That's what they did in Midnight in Paris, and by golly, I was going to go too. Mom said, "Okay, whatever!" and helped figure out all the logistics with our pal Rick Steves.

From our hotel, we got on the Metro and transferred to a train to Versailles. It wasn't exactly the country, but it was outside the city. The whole day I compared everything to my trip to Windsor Castle in England because they were both day trips outside the main city to see the homes of royalty.

Everything we read said to go early, so we did! It was pretty magical getting inside and walking around the courtyard with few other people. No one was photoshopped out of this shot - really it was this empty! I loved the grand gold roofs.

Inside there were LOTS more people. At Versailles, like most tourist spots of this size, everyone is shuffled through from one room to the next. Mom and I listened to our audio guides, supplementing with comic relief from our Rick Steves guide. We got stuck in lots of rooms trying to navigate the larger tour groups that stopped for fifteen minutes in front of the bed Marie Antoinette slept in the night she was executed. Or whatever.

The Hall of Mirrors was my very favorite because it's always in lots of movies. And totes gorge.

When we finished our tour, we had a snack of macarons, coca cola light and a small baguette sandwich. We were beginning to reach saturation point of baguettes by this point in our French trip, but it still hit the spot. As we wandered outside, we realized the sun had come out and we took advantage of the improved conditions for wandering through the gardens.

Some people spend a whole afternoon in the gardens. If we had 50 euro to burn, we could have rented a golf cart to drive all around. As it was, we decided to walk. We barely covered much of the garden, but we definitely got the feel of it and saw some of the highlights. Everything is so symmetrical. It makes the design nerd in me very happy.

I loved seeing all of the school children wandering in pairs, with teachers or running through the gardens on a French scavenger hunt. I've spent a lot of time with students on field trips, and this one might be the coolest ever. I could guess the things their teachers told them without knowing the language - field trip teacher talk is universal.

As we walked, the storm clouds began to move in over Versailles. We used our raincoats and umbrellas as we walked back to the train and rode back into Paris. We read our international copy of the New York Times and rested while we planned a busy afternoon of lunch and impressionist art at the Orsay, which was hands down our very favorite Parisian art museum.

Today is Thursday and it's not nearly as glamorous as the Thursday I rode the train to Versailles. Today I'm working at the Book Fair and plotting what great things we can buy for our school with the profits. But I'm a little happier remembering this lovely day with my mom at Versailles.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taco Lucha in Manhattan, KS.

After the game on Saturday, we visited with Candi for a few minutes. It was an AWESOME bonus to the win and we were so glad to see her. After that, we were really hungry and ready to try Taco Lucha. It's the sister restaurant to So Long Saloon, located between So Long and the Lou in Aggieville and was opened last November. As you can guess from the name, they serve Mexican food.

Before you start ranting about how you can't believe we didn't eat at So Long, calm down! They serve the famous black bean raspberry chipotle dip at Taco Lucha as well. We debated whether or not we needed two orders for six people. At the rate we inhaled this one, we probably could have taken care of two! Jon couldn't even stop dipping for me to take a picture.

You can make this dip at home, but it is the very best at the restaurant in the piping hot skillet.

With the black bean dip, the group tried a few drinks. We heard good things about the margaritas. Anne said it was good but not life changing. There were tons of margs to try! Jon had a Mexican summer beer which we all quickly agreed had way too much tequila. Yes, that is possible.

For our meal, the table was split between the special and the tacos. The special was written on a chalkboard door outside and received mixed reviews. Jon's didn't have enough meat filling and too much tortilla. Ashley didn't like the green sauce but loved the cheese. Anne didn't like cheese but did like the green sauce. (I think I got that right!)

The tacos were the hands down winner at our table. Erica, Lauren and I tried six different varieties, and while spicy, they were very good. Perfect for after a football game.

Staying true to the classic funky vibes at So Long Saloon, the atmosphere and music are totally fun. The bar is ornate and awesome, and all the waitresses were wearing purple for game day! They have a large patio, so try to go soon. I think the 45 minute wait will easily double when they lose all those tables on the patio to the changing seasons!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

K-State Day at the Beach.

K-State played Miami on Saturday in Manhattan, and the whole day was fabulous. Just awesome. It was an early game (11 am) which means we left my house earlier than I leave for school. I might still be tired from all that fun in the sun. The beaches of Miami made for an easy theme for a batch of cookies. Palm trees, sunglass wearing suns and my favorite stripe cookies.

The weather was beautiful. We wore an extra layer in the morning for tailgaiting but definitely didn't need anything more than shorts and t-shirts for the game. And plenty of sunscreen! The boys in the picture are Dereck (in town from Chicago), Sheldon (we celebrated his upcoming wedding with a stock the bar party on Sunday night), and Jon, this week's carpool driver.

Three Luhrs ladies at the tailgate in the morning! True story - Lauren didn't like this photo because there was a pole coming out of her head. Picky, picky. So I photoshopped it so there wouldn't be a pole. Done. Perfect Kansas blue skies.

Lauren brought a couple of friends from law school to the tailgate, including a nice Miami fan named Grant and his girlfriend. I introduced myself to Grant then went to talk to him again realizing he was a former youth group kid! He recognized me too, and it was fun to catch up with Grant. Hard to believe some of my former youth are in law school. And crazy enough to go to Miami.

The game was awesome - K-State totally dominated and made their way into the top 15.

Two major highlights of the day were Chris Cakes pancakes and basketball players! The RV across the way had Chris Cakes catering pancakes. I caught all four on my plate and devoured them. I love those pancakes! Don made amazing bacon as a reminder of why I don't cook bacon at home - I can't do it justice. So greasy, good and perfect.

After the game we ran into three basketball players which made Anne the happiest Wildcat ever! She had the guts to stop and ask to take a photo with them. Here's Thomas Gibson and Martavious Irving - they are big in real life!

Good day at the Bill with such a big win and excellent food in Aggieville afterwards. More on that to come!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Never Too Early for a Halloween Party!

We are having a very early Halloween party and you're invited! Kind of. In our first ever total collaboration, Rachel and I designed a Halloween pack for RV Parties. She started with the invitation, and then we just kept making more fun items.

I was in charge of the photo shoot and could not have done it without Andrea's help. She was in town from Brooklyn and brought her artistic eye for arranging the table with me. When we were in middle and high school, we used to pretend that we were Martha Stewart in my basement and craft the night away. So this was a perfect project for us!

We definitely wanted to put our classic items in the pack but also some fun stuff that you make easily at home. Witches broomsticks? Easy dipped pretzel rods with sprinkles!

My personal favorite are the s'mores kits made with Peeps ghosts! Little graham squares, a classic Hershey mini bar and that spooky Peeps ghost. The chevron bag and the straws are from our favorite Etsy shop for supplies, DK DeleKTables. I love that they will put together EXACTLY what we need for a party.

I prefer to use Allison's cupcakes, but I had a time crunch so picked up these perfect double chocolate cupcakes from Dolce Baking Co. in Prairie Village.

Rachel carefully measured the labels for Hershey kisses and mini chocolate bars. And how cute do they look with the dark chocolate kisses? Purple power.

With all this candy, your little ghosts need some water. Or bat potion. Don't ask how we come up with this stuff - it's all very silly.

Do you see the peanut butter ghosts? Nutter butters dipped in white chocolate with little chocolate eyes - thanks Erica for that suggestion!

It's only $10 and available in the Etsy shop. You get pages and pages of printables sent to your email within 24 hours that you can use for goodies of your own. A surprise treat for a sweet neighbor? Cupcakes for your son's kindergarten class? Water bottles for the soccer team? Peanut butter ghosts for teachers that you work with? Order yours now for some spooky crafting.