Until We Meet Again KC

Until We Meet Again KC

Jul 26

I wrote this post awhile back, but we were so crazy busy with our move I didn’t get a chance to post it. We’ve now been gone nearly a month and are loving Victoria!

Chad accepted a job offer in Victoria, BC, so we’ll be moving to Canada in July! While we will certainly miss Kansas City, we’re excited for our new adventure. I thought it would be appropriate to put together a list of things I will miss most about Kansas City as my final post here, so here we go:

  • Walks to Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard with Chad and Bailey on hot summer nights
  • The view of the skyline – it may be little, but I love it and it will always be home
  • Brookside, Plaza and Westport bars – lots of memories made and lost :)
  • Our first house – 5911 Holmes will always have a special place in my heart
  • Mexican food on SW Blvd
  • Boulevard Wheat Beer – and that’s really saying something because I don’t even like beer
  • Starlight – We had season tickets for this summer which makes it even harder
  • Rockhill Road – I find it beautiful, always
  • Cellar and Loft – Sign up for the wine club and think of me when you get it delivered to your doorstep each month
  • My workout instructors at 24 Hour Fitness at 119th and Metcalf – I currently find them to be irreplaceable, but am really hoping that’s not actually true. I may be the first person that’s actually sad about canceling a gym membership.
  • Parkville
  • BBQ
  • Listening to Afentra and Danny Boy on 96.5 The Buzz on my way to work each day
  • Loose Park – Where I likely would have gotten married if we had our ceremony in KC – the rose garden is absolutely breathtaking
  • First Fridays
  • Bryan Busby - the weather man on KCTV9 who came and spoke at my elementary school, is still on air today and obviously left a lasting impression
  • The Plaza Lights. . .

Here are a few fun things I came across recently that anyone from KC will appreciate and be able to relate to:

28 Signes You Grew Up In Kansas City

A Tour of Kansas City

And if you’d like to keep following me and my journey to Victoria you can follow my new blog The Gardens of Victoria.

Archival Designs

Archival Designs

Apr 15

Archival Designs
Location: Crossroads Arts District

I’m really excited about today’s post because I can’t get enough of Jake and Julie’s artwork – hand thrown pottery. Chad and I love it so much that we got 8 place settings from them and generally can’t go to First Friday’s without picking something up.

plates and bowls

I strongly recommend stopping by their shop on First Fridays. All of their items are very affordable and make great gifts. They’ve got everything from mugs and other standard dishes to pie dishes and cake stands. In fact, you can see a cake stand that we used on our Wine Wedding day here.

Tree Bowls from Archival Designs

And if you’re looking for custom tile or artwork as your back splash, they have created some of the most amazing murals  I’ve ever seen – including scenes from Paris, Venice and even the Country Club Plaza! You can see photos of that work by checking out the portfolio section on their website.

Mug from Archival DesignsThe work that they do is just incredible. I can’t thank them enough for creating the place settings that we’ll have for years to come and I can’t wait to get my next piece and continue adding to our collection.

Meet Award Winning Homebrewer – Rob Rys

Meet Award Winning Homebrewer – Rob Rys

Mar 20

Rob RysRob Rys
Location: Roeland Park, KS
Homebrew Name: Supernatural Brews

I met Rob several years ago when I was working with his wife Kellie at HCA. Now he’s a part of KC Nanobrews with Chad and has won a number of home (beer) brewing competitions. I’m impressed with how many he has won in such a short amount of time and thought it would be fun to feature him here and share more on the competitions and his winnings.

What is the first competition you won and with what beer?
My first competition was the 2012 Badger Brew-Off. It was also my first win. I had no intentions of winning or placing, I just entered a Chocolate Stout hoping to get some feedback.
How did you decide to start entering your beers into competitions?
I was home brewing for 2 years and I reached a point where I thought my beers were not only drinkable, but enjoyable. My wife has a better palette then me and would honestly tell me if my beer didn’t taste good, so when she told me I made something great I trusted her. I also got praise from friends but it usually came in the form of “this is good” or “I like this”. It was hard to tell if they really enjoyed it or there were just being nice. Ultimately, I wanted some concrete feedback from a unbiased judge. I read that competition judges gave feedback about sanitation procedures, ingredients, brewing process, and recipe formulation. So I entered.
How do you find the competitions? Are most of them local?
I started searching the American Homebrew Association website. They have a complete list of sanctioned homebrew competitions. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of local competitions. It is one of the reasons our group KC Nanobrews, LLC is putting together our own. Entering a competition can be costly. There is the cost of registering, cost of shipping, and if you decide to attend the awards ceremony or banquet there are travel expenses. By providing our own competition Kansas City homebrewers can avoid all the additional fees and attend our award ceremony. It also gives local businesses a chance to sponsor and expose their brand to a large community of home brewers and beer enthusiasts.
How much does it usually cost to enter?
Cost depends on what organization is running the competition and where it’s located. On average I would say it’s around $10 per entry. That would include the entry fee, shipping materials, and shipping fee. For larger competitions like the American Homebrewer Association the entry fee itself can be has high as $17. One of the many benefits to being in a homebrew club like KC Nanobrews is you can ship as group to reduce some of that cost.
Rob Rys First Place IPA

Rob’s First Place IPA

What do you think is the best prize you’ve received so far?
The best would have to be the feedback. I’ve tweaked several beers from the comments I received and the next version usually resulted in a win or a higher score. I’ve also received gift cards from Midwest Supplies and Northern Brewer along with competition medals. Overall, I think competitions need to put more effort into the prizes. Competitions are  getting more expensive and organizers should recognize the time, money, and effort that goes into entering.
Are you surprised you’ve won so many competitions in such a short period of time?
Yes! I never expected it. I guess this means I should listen to my wife and friends….
Any advice for new brewers interested in joining the competition?
Just do it. At the very least you will get some useful feedback. It doesn’t take long to bottle a few beers and ship them off. Make sure you pick the right style for your entry, the judging process is all about staying within the BJCP guidelines. Also, join up with a local homebrew club like KC Nanobrews. Their website has a list of competitions and local homebrewers available to answer questions.


For more on Rob and his creations you can follow him on facebook at Supernatural Brews
Racin’ for Rescues 5K

Racin’ for Rescues 5K

Mar 10

Racin’ for Rescues 5K 
Location: Shawnee Mission Park
Date: Sunday, May 19
Time: 7 a.m.

Racin for Rescues

I always enjoy walking for a cause. It’s great to know I”m a part of making a difference in someone else’s life and I love being around a group of people who come together to do the same thing.

The other thing I love about them is seeing the city from a different perspective. The KC Susan G Komen race starts at Union Station and goes through downtown and the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association walks start at Theis Park and go along Brush Creek then back through the Country Club Plaza. While I am near these places often, it’s a totally different point of view when you’re walking and it really gives you time to take it all in.

Shawnee Mission Dog Park

Bailey at Shawnee Mission Dog Park

I’m currently looking forward to the Racin’ for Rescues 5K which is a walk you can do with your dog(s) and benefits the Unleashed Pet Rescue and Adoption. It’s being held at Shawnee Mission Park and if you haven’t been there you’re in for a real treat. It’s gorgeous! And after the walk I recommend taking your dog to their great off-leash park with “canine only” swimming in the lake.

Click here to register
Click here to find the event on Facebook


The Classic Cookie

The Classic Cookie

Feb 25

The Classic Cookie
Location: Waldo

As many of you know, I have a sweet tooth. Several years ago when I was working for a photographer in Waldo I was introduced to a restaurant that serves a basket of mini cookies and muffins with lunch and fell in love.

Classic Cookie Cookie Basket

Now, I like to go with Chad for breakfast. It’s very small with a short and simple breakfast and lunch menu. The chairs don’t match and the food reminds me of going to my grandmother’s house.

As you can imagine, they also specialize in baked goods and cookies and muffins are their specialty. My favorite cookie of all time and of theirs is the snickerdoodle, but I recommend getting the cookie and muffin basket and trying a variety. This last weekend I had a chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips. Yep, it was the bomb.com.

They also have tins that you can fill with cookies and make great gifts. Or if you’d like to give a gift that keeps on giving, they have a cookbook that includes delicious recipes from the owner of the restaurant. We got one for Chad’s mom and everything she makes from it is amazing.

A Tribute to JJ’s

A Tribute to JJ’s

Feb 19

JJ’s was a Kansas City classic on the Country Club Plaza that tragically burned down on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

I noticed the dark smoke in the sky on my way home from a meeting at Boulevard Brewery and realized it was coming from the Plaza as I got closer. When I got home, I could still see the smoke from my house, which is about 10 blocks south of the restaurant. I got on my computer and pulled up Twitter and within an instant saw several tweets about the explosion that demolished the restaurant.

JJs Fire

My view from East of the Plaza during JJs Fire

The first thing I did was text my co-worker (and nail consultant), Jackie, to make sure she was okay because she lives very close to the restaurant. She said she was outside when it happened and “EVERYTHING shook” but she was okay.

Then I text my friend (and real estate agent), Elizabeth, who had just eaten at JJ’s on her birthday/Valentine’s Day with her husband and newborn baby. I knew she was okay, but wanted to let her know that I was very grateful that her birthday wasn’t today. That made me think about the people that were there celebrating for whatever occasion and what a terrible day it must be for their friends and family.

Sad day. A great loss for Kansas City.

Amigoni Urban Winery

Amigoni Urban Winery

Feb 18

Amigoni Urban Winery
Location: West Bottoms

Happy day! I’m not sure how I haven’t heard of this place until now, but there is a local vineyard that has a winery in the West Bottoms of Kansas City! There are lots of great things about this winery including the fact that they also have tastings of Boulevard beer – something for the men if they aren’t into wine.

Amy and Kim at Amigoni Urban Winery

The venue is spectacular! Two stories with a separate event space room with wine barrels and a bar. My friend Kellie kept saying it would be perfect for a rehearsal dinner and I totally agree.

The wines are delicious and affordable and they also serve light appetizers like fruit and cheese trays.

I came across this place on Facebook when I saw my friend Mollie and her family went there for her mother’s birthday. I thought it looked great, but was totally blown away when I actually went. So fun, easy to get to and I’ll certainly be back soon.

I’m Guest Blogging at SocMedSean Today

I’m Guest Blogging at SocMedSean Today

Feb 07

Check out my “Cupcakes and Controversy: A Lesson in Business Social Media Etiquette” blog post on SocMedSean here: http://bit.ly/WUBGvk 

Guest Blog at SocMedSean