Theme for the Year: Embracing Imperfection

Embracing imperfection is a hard thing for me to do. But one thing I’ve realized is that my idea of perfection actually keeps me from achieving anything. I wait to even start until perfection is possible to achieve, which never happens due to time and resources.

This year, however, I’ve decided to change that. I am just going to do things, get them started. If I want to go back later and do more to get them to a status of perfection, I can, but then at least I’m one step closer.

For instance, scrapbooking. I’ve never been a great scrapbooker, but I keep things around to put in a scrapbook one day. So I have little boxes of keepsakes everywhere. I’ve started just putting them in the scrapbook! No need for it to look super pretty because all I really need is to have them all in one place that I can pack around with me as I move and look at every once in a while. If, much later, I’ve decided I have the time and energy to add another step then I will. But at least I’ve started, I’ve done something, my brain feels a little relief from getting just an inch closer to this goal it’s been holding onto.

Next up: The apartment. I need to put everything in a place. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good place, it just needs to go somewhere or get out of my house! If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and you hate clutter, then you should probably start it. So that’s what I’m going to do – KonMarie my house. Get rid of things so there’s no need to take the time to come up with fantastic organizational systems and take care of more and more stuff.

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Birthday Staycation in Kansas City

I am the birthday czar.

Seriously. I love birthdays. I love my birthday, or birthweek I should say. I really make it last.

For instance, this year I took four days off of work to go see my sister in Tulsa. We shopped, watched movies, got our nails done, had a home spa day (with lots of giggles about how ridiculous it all was), and managed to have a birthday blast! Because the deal is: I call all the shots on my birthday week. I am the czar.

On the actual day of my birth, I thanked my mother for birthing me (since she really did all the work) and then began my day long celebration. See, the tradition I started just last year is that I make a list of all the things that I haven’t managed to see and do in Kansas City yet. Then the boy and I go around and be tourists for the day. Here follows the record of this epic day.

My first decree was that breakfast would be had at The Farmhouse in the City Market area. I had been wanting to try this place as they use all local ingredients to make hearty comfort food. And since hearty comfort food is my all time favorite genre of food, I knew I would love the place. I also happened to choose the best thing on the menu. I mean, I didn’t try anything else, but nothing can beat this, unless by some food magics.

Stevi in KC goes to the Farmhouse

 

That thing of beauty you see is a bacon and cheddar biscuit (so fluffy! so flavorful!) topped with fried tenderloin (so juicy! so crispy!) topped with an over hard egg (so eggy!) and finished off with the other half of biscuit and a mound of delicious gravy. Heaven. Seriously, that could have been everything I did for the day and I would have been happy.

Stevi in KC goes to The Farmhouse

But guess what?! There’s more!

Next up we stopped by a fun store in the City Market area called Yoki. It has a bunch of fun novelties imported from Japan. I highly recommend a visit, if nothing else other than to look at all the different stuff. And buy these Hello Panda chocolate things, because they are the best! Go buy them. Now. I also purchased some fun cards and stickers (cat themed, of course!). And then made a quick stop for some boba tea (another demand I made even though it might have made us late to my next decreed event)!

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Which was to take a tour of The Roasterie. It was a fun and interesting tour; our tour guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. My favorite part was where they had volunteers show to they quality test the coffee: a ridiculous slurping of the coffee that makes it fill your whole mouth so you get the best taste test. I unfortunately did not volunteer in time, but would have loved to have tried it (maybe I will do that at home, actually!). Afterward, we purchased coffee (and a poster for $1!) and sat out in the beautiful sun and slurped away.

Stevi in KC goes to The Roasterie

Look at all of those coffee beans!

Look at all of those coffee beans!

Stevi in KC goes to The Roasterie

Since we were not remotely hungry still (just to give you perspective, we finished breakfast at 10 and we were not ready for lunch until 3) we stopped by the Thomas Hart Benton state park. I did not know anything about the artist, much less that he was from Kansas City. When we arrived, Mr. Benton was waiting for us.

Hello there, Thomas!

Hello there, Thomas!

We took a tour of his studio, where he died working on a painting actually, and we learned about his painting process and style. And then moved into the house to learn about his family and his history. It was a really interesting tour and a beautiful home, though my pictures don’t do it justice.

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My kind of people!

My kind of people!

His daughter painted this!

His daughter painted this!

Next up on my to do list was Amigoni Urban Winery. Their vineyards are on the outskirts of Kansas City, but they have a tasting room downtown in a cool old building that used to be the Daily Drover Telegram Newspaper. We both did the wine tasting and sampled five of their wines… and left with four bottles and a bottle of some amazing olive oil! It’s a nice price, good atmosphere, great wine, and fun time. They have cheese plates for purchase as well, so it’s a great place to go for appetizers and drinks before catching a meal.

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Which is exactly what we did! We went to La Bodega, a place I have been wanting to go for tapas ever since I found out there was a tapas place here in KC! I went to visit my lovely sister when she studied abroad in Spain and had the pleasure of discovering tapas with her, and couldn’t wait to try it here in the states. You should definitely go in between 2-6 because several of the tapas are half price during that time, so we proceeded to stuff ourselves. I only got pictures of two of our plates though, and greedily snarfed down the rest before taking pics.

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After that, we passed some time going to a few other stores I’d been wanting to visit. One is Oracle Fine Curiosities, which is full of interesting fossils, crystals, taxidermy, and some amazing jewelry that I need to go back and find. Jason bought my birthday present there: a beautiful butterfly! (I have a thing for colorful insects) And another was Pryde’s Old Westport, an amazing kitchen store! It was full to the brim with anything and everything kitchen related. We didn’t stay long because to fully experience this store you need a lot more time than what we had to work with, but I did get a picture of their amazing “chandelier’s” that were made with egg beaters!

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It was around dinner time when we came home and I was greeted by Birthday Cat!

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Then I had my wonderful group of friends over for pizza, some Amigoni wine, and games. We had a great time, and it was a wonderful ending to a perfect day.

scenes of late

Lately I have been trying to get my life in order: cleaning, projects, making lists, applying for all the jobs, spending time with friends, etc. It has been pretty fun and fulfilling, but now it’s time to let you in on it.

1. Working out and eating better.
I have been working out at least three times a week for 40 minutes or more for close to two months now. Additionally, I have downloaded the app, My Fitness Pal, in order to watch my calories for the past month. No improvement yet. Anyway, at the end of my workout I take all of the stairs to the very top of our apartment complex and take a look out at the plaza. Here is photographic proof.

 

Good Morning Kansas City!

Good Morning Kansas City!

 

2. Cat pictures. I am always taking them, there will be no break in my showcasing Bowie. Recently, I helped her onto the bed while I was cleaning and she explored, and then she somehow (despite her disability) made herself a little home with some packing paper from something the boy bought. Also, she wants to be an outdoor cat so badly (but she can’t defend herself so we can’t let her) so we found her asleep with her head in the begonias on our balcony.

 

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3. I had a whole weekend of rowdy college fun with my fellow college alumnae. (Alas, those pictures will not be showcased here…) It ended with a tea at our old scholarship hall on Lilac Lane, and the lilacs were in full bloom and so very lovely.

 

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4.  The boy and I have been trying to get outside as much as possible so we’ve started taking little picnics or just a blanket and some books (I am reading After Dark by Haruki Murakami) to the local park. It is so relaxing and makes me wonder why we don’t do that more often.

 

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5. Last week I took a walk to the plaza (in search of a job) and took some lovely pics from my time down there. It was such a beautiful day and I noticed several things around that I had never noticed before. Then that evening I put out the new lanterns I bought and sat on our balcony enjoying the evening. I don’t know what I did with the afternoon that day, but it was obviously not well documented.

 

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6. This past weekend I went to Oklahoma for a friend’s graduation and learned that Oklahoma City has a little downtown area with a river walk. We had a nice relaxing, delicious, and fun dinner followed by a long walk along the “river”. I put quotation marks because I’m not sure it was a river as it was rather small and I’m fairly certain is was man-made, but it was magical nonetheless.

 

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Those are my adventures of late. Part of my planning has been around this blog, so expect some changes soon.

rainy spring morning

I am sitting on the window seat this morning with my breakfast and my laptop open to pinterest (what else) with the window open, enjoying the cool breeze and the light spring rain. What a great morning. This weekend, spring arrived. It happened that quickly up here. When I went out on Friday morning there were no green on the trees, and by Saturday everything was in bloom!

So in honor of spring arriving I have before and after pictures. Before spring arrived I went back to the homestead and took an early morning walk with my sister.

BEFORE

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And these are the pictures from this weekend! (ok so I bought the flowers and put them in a vase in the first picture, but they are lovely) We spent most of Saturday outside (I bought a friend of mine some rollerblades for her birthday so we tried those out) and then bought plants to go out on our balcony!

 

AFTER

 

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Unfortunately, it is supposed to drastically cool down tomorrow so we will have to pull the plants inside. But I am enjoying it for now. Hope everyone’s weekend was wonderful!

 

when will spring get here?

This year has been the most frustrating, weather-wise at least. We keep getting these amazing days that are warm and sunny and you can feel spring starting…… only to be followed by snow and freezing cold again. This past week has been WONDERFUL! with the windows open, picnics, reading outside, and generally doing anything outside that I can.

Today, however is back to coats, mittens, and snow. The weariness of winter just had to show up one more time just to remind us that it is still technically winter’s reign.

So to cheer myself I am looking at pictures I took while it was warm! The cats really enjoyed the open windows all week and barely strayed from their respective windows. So……….here for your viewing pleasure……… CAT PICTURES!

You know you love it.

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hello sweetie.

I just wanted to update the world. I am the excited owner of a beautiful empire red Kitchen Aid mixer! My darling sister and the boyfriend went in together for Christmas, those lovely humans!

Notice it’s photographer-reflecting shininess. Posts on things I make with are sure to follow!

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thunder and lightning!

Today was a beautiful, lazy Sunday. Slept in a tiny bit and then went with friends to a most delicious crepe place and afterward wandered the farmer’s market in the River Market area. Didn’t find much there, but more because we weren’t really looking and were instead enjoying a walk around in the lovely weather looking at pretty veggies.

After that we went to Loose Park (beautiful!) and threw the frisbee around a bit and went to look at the rose garden. Unfortunately because it’s been so cold so late in the season there wasn’t much going yet, but I could see the promise and will definitely be returning later. I have to say, I’m a teensy bit sore from the Rave Run on Friday so I wasn’t on top of my frisbee game, but we managed to have a good time.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading outside on the patio (doesn’t this day just seem like a wonderful dream?!) until it started raining too much and I had to bring the party inside. However, at one break in the storm it had stopped raining and was only lightning off in the distance. It was the beautiful, spidery, and slow type of lightning so I nabbed the boy’s iPad and went to the very top of our building to take pictures.

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pictured: spidery lightning.

pictured: soft and slow lightning.

pictured: soft and slow lightning.

Since I just had an iPad and no real way of knowing any fancy tricks on such short notice these were both taken over a long period of time with me taking hundreds of pictures of blackness before hitting a few gems. Since it took me so long, the storm moved closer to me and I moved over to a set of buildings I love the look of and thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a view of a set of spidery lighting strikes behind these two buildings?!” So I kept waiting for “the one” picture to cap them all. Again with the hundreds of pictures, with the strikes getting closer and closer until…….

wait for it.........

wait for it………

BAM!

BAM!

The building (Marriott I believe) got struck by lightning! I don’t know how I managed not to toss the iPad over the railing and wet myself, but I somehow got the picture I’d been waiting for without any technological or bodily harm and walked calmly, albeit very quickly, back down to the apartment. After discussing the amazingness of the whole experience rather giddily (wondering if some of the electricity made it to me, what with all my jitters) I couldn’t wait to share the pictures with THE WORLD.

So, there you go, world, enjoy a bit of Kansas on your Sunday evening.