September 17, 2014

Currently Loving

Fall is here with a fury, and my favorite season has me in the best mood.
I absolutely live for this time of year!

I am already drafting a fall bucket list, but in the meantime I am riding these good vibes out.
So. Much. Goodness.

Autumn is my favourite season because | of hot coffee warming my cold hands
                                                               {via}

Currently...

thinking//
I love stormy Wednesday mornings wearing cozy leggings, listening to Ben Howard, and sipping hot coffee.

making//
A million Cozy Couture headwraps to build up my inventory for my first craft show in October, and gear up for a busy Etsy season.

drinking//
Some black coffee with a splash of Chocolate Biscotti creamer out of my favorite orange Starbucks mug (Go Pokes!).

looking //
Forward to our family vacation next month. 7 of us nestled up in a cabin at Lakes of the Ozarks sounds really about now. Hiking, spa dates, playing games, and relaxing together.

playing//
Badminton! Adam and I play a game in our jammers almost every single night before we hit the hay.
Yes, we're 85.

eating// 
Delicious skinny turkey chili. The whole city is slowly changing into fall, cooler weather and all, and I can't get enough. So we made a huge pot of chili and watched Patch Adams last night - so heavenly.

watching//  
I would like to be watching Scandal, but when the heck does it come back on? It better not be spring, I can hardly contain myself. I love so many some fall shows!

creating//
A fun fall centerpiece for our dining room table. I found a spectacular long rustic box made out of reclaimed barn wood while at Warehouse Weekends at the beginning of the month. So the plan is to layer it with pumpkins, berries, twigs, and candles for a rustic, pretty autumn touch.
My inspiration...


wishing// 
I was still curled up in bed with my sweet hubs and pup. The thunderstorms were a'raging this morning, and I could've stayed in bed all day. Oh! And pancakes in bed. Definitely pancakes.

planning//
A Halloween bash with my awesome sis-in-law. Actually, she's the mastermind behind our ghoulish fest.. I am really just the spastic one pinning every Halloween thing that crosses my path on Pinterest! ;)

enjoying//
Having Adam home for consecutive weeks. It sounds crazy, but what a treat to get to spend time with him. He was in China for a week and Washington several times in the last month, so I am soaking it all in.

wearing//
The world's best, coziest sweater/tunic from Gap Body. Hands down, the best purchase I have ever made. The sweater has a hood and the material is soft like butter. Perfect for lounging around the house in yoga pants, or running around the town in leggings and boots.

eyeing//
An awesome Nespresso latte maker (pricey!). Holy heck, my cousin has one of these babies and it's a game changer. I also would love some of the awesome prints on my on-going "Wishlist" board on Pinterest. It's out of control...

loving//
My new iPhone case from Society6. A splash of color and whimsy, so cute.

counting//
Down the days until Christmas... 98!



.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


What are you currently loving this week?


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September 15, 2014

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

I'm having a case of the Mondays this morning!
A little minor issue with the linky, but we are set-up and ready to go, my friends!

Thanks so much for dropping by for a little networking action! I hope you will pass the word and find lots of great new blog friends!

 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) You must share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or the Mingle Monday photo.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below and have FUN!
 
** What are your guilty pleasures? **

(I cannot get enough of the train wreck that is Keeping Up With the Kardashians! Ha!)

________________________________________________________________________________________


Hope your week is off to a killer start!


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September 10, 2014

Breaking News: Toms + Target

Okay, I hope you are sitting down in a quiet room, and I need you to remain calm. 
Because I have news for you. BIG news.

Target + TOMS = November 16th!


Are you screaming and jumping up and down too? I can hardly contain myself.
This is going to be absolutely fabulous (as if Target didn't already steal a huge chunk of my paycheck), and this partnership's timing couldn't possibly be better... right before the holiday season!

I have been a huge TOMS advocate for years. I love their socially conscious mission. I love that I can feel good about helping people with each purchase I make. And I love the comfortability and fun designs of their shoes. Now, TOMS x Target will be introducing more than 50 products under $50, including shoes, accessories, apparel, home goods, and more!

Here's the even better news...

"With your help, TOMS for Target has the potential to provide more than 11 million meals, blankets and shoes to those in need. Every TOMS for Target apparel, accessory and home good purchase results in the donation of a blanket through the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross, or one week of meals through Feeding America or Food Banks Canada. And for every TOMS for Target pair of shoes sold, a pair will go to a child in need."










The TOMS x Target collaboration will hit Target shelves on November 16th at US and Canada locations, as well as online. The new line will span through mid-March, so mark your calendars and spread the awesome news! 

And yes, I will be one of those crazies getting ready to bust through the doors the morning they hit shelves... look out! 


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September 7, 2014

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

So thrilled you stopped by for a little boost - the perfect remedy for the post-weekend blues.
I'm absolutely with you today. I had a great weekend with lots of long walks with the Beast, chilling with my hubby, a good friend's wedding, a 2-year-old birthday party, and lounging around the house.

I am already ready for this next weekend!

In the meanwhile, at least I have you guys to drop by and add a little sunshine to my Monday! Looking forward to hearing from you and I hope you have fun networking. Go say hello to some new friends and thanks again for dropping by!

 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) You must share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or the Mingle Monday photo.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below and have FUN!
 
** What is one skill/hobby you would love to learn? **

(I would love to learn wood working, knitting, and more advanced sewing!)

________________________________________________________________________________________

Still proud to say that 100% of advertisement sponsorship proceeds go to my charity of choice, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. There are dozens and dozens of Hope Lodges across the country that give cancer patients a free place to stay while out of town for cancer treatment - such a cool place! 

With just $10, you can get a month long ad and know that it is going to help real cancer patients and their families. So please join me in my fundraising effort by becoming a sponsor HERE!


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.

Wishing you a surprisingly awesome week!

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September 5, 2014

Shop 'til You Drop + Weekend Outlook

I woke up before the sun showed her face this morning, and despite the early wake-up call, I couldn't wipe the huge smile off my face.

Hello weekend.

The past 2 weeks I have been working the ultra early shift to help a co-worker out. Although I can hardly get myself together and out the door when it's still pitch black outside, I've been loving getting off work at 2 PM everyday, and today is no exception.

The first place I am heading is right over the 12th Street bridge and into the West Bottoms district to indulge in a little First Fridays / Warehouse Weekend shopping.








I eat, sleep, and breathe for warehouse weekend. I could browse every display for hours upon hours while I stare googly-eyed at a combo of vintage and repurposed items.

These local stores are mainly only open the first weekend of every month. They restock their stores with new treasures each month, so every 30 days you can shop for brand new unique items to liven up your home.

My must visit shops include //

+ Restoration Emporium
+ Hello Sailor
+ Bella Patina
+ Bottoms Up
+ Good Ju Ju


Recent Finds //

+ cool old church windows for our mantle
+ rustic vintage Chiefs sign for Adam's man cave
+ rustic chic decor for shelf styling
+ antique books in shades of aqua for cute shelf color


I absolutely live for the fall months, so I am beyond excited to see if autumn decor is out for the taking. Feel free to come along via Instagram as I shop, because I'm sure I will be loving every minute of it.











Also on my list to check out, is the newly opened, hipster chic (my fave!) Urban Provisions General Store located in the East Bottoms. They specialize in locally sourced and American products, including accessories, coffee, and clothing.



And my last stop of the day will be to meet my sister-in-law for our beloved tradition of getting in line for Christopher Elbow Chocolates with the rest of the crazy chocoholics of Kansas City! We have high hopes of nabbing a highly coveted 20-piece gourmet chocolate grab bag for $10 before they sell out... yum!

Holy heck, it's going to be a great afternoon. The rest of the week looks promising too...

+ Stand Up to Cancer watch party
+ girls night for my friend's birthday
+ sleeping in
+ eggs benny in our jammers on the patio
+ more Prison Break (I need an intervention...)
+ our friend's wedding
+ the first Sunday School of the school year with my new 2nd graders
+ a 2-year-old-bday-party

Woah... full steam ahead!


What is your weekend outlook?
Any fun local events going on in your neck of the woods?


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September 4, 2014

Day Tripping: Sunflower Fields + Apple Picking

This past weekend was so full of goodness, I had my fingers and toes crossed that it would never end. After on-and-off work trips, my hubs was finally home on Saturday night and we hit the ground running.

Thank goodness I have the world's coolest, most in-the-know sister-in-law, because she had some awesome suggestions for our impromptu day trip.

We piled in the car and indulged in my favorite hipster tunes as we drove west to catch Grinter's Sunflower Field outside of Lawrence before the sun went down. As soon as we pulled up my heart skipped a beat. 

It was breathtaking.

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see and they are only in full bloom for about 2 weeks. Pair those gorgeous buds with cotton candy skies, and a thunderstorm getting ready to roll through the plains, and you have the best photos! 

I feel like if you added some floppy eared puppies, that's what heaven looks like.


We also decided to swing by Fieldstone Orchard and Farm to do some organic apple and Asian pear picking. Don't  you worry, we sampled as we picked along the rows, so I am shocked there was any fruit left on the trees after our wake. 

The farm owners were so sweet and welcoming, and we had such a fun time listening to their stories. Can't wait to head back out on more trips as the apple season continues! 


After the outdoorsy pallooza wrapped up before sunset, we met my in-laws for dinner at Merchants Pub & Plate

The food was spectacular and they had over 30 craft beers on tap, so you know this place is a keeper. My fave? Autumn Ale from Breckenridge Brewery. Delicious!


We majorly snoozed in on Monday morning due to the all-night thunderstorm. I woke up, scrounged around for breakfast to discover we had fresh blueberries to use up. 

So all of a sudden an amazing Blueberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake was born, and we all took a big bite and said hallelujah. I mean, you can't really beat a melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon crumb topping and juicy berries, right? Amen and amen.


After the rain cleared up on our super lazy Labor Day, I was dying to get outside and take Beast for a walk. I just love how it smells after it rains, and how everything is extra green. I absolutely love the trail by our house - it's extra easy to get lost in the glow of outside!


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


How was your long weekend? 
Did you take any day trips or go on any fun local adventures?


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September 1, 2014

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake



Picture a cozy summer morning. You're still lounging around the house in your pajamas with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and the smell of warm cinnamon and lemon zest wafting through the house.

In just a few short minutes, the oven timer is going to go off and you'll be ready to indulge in a freshly baked cinnamon streusel topped coffee cake that is filled with juicy fresh blueberries.

If you like the sound of that, you're definitely going to need to try this classic recipe. This coffee cake has been jazzed up with a tiny hint of citrus and high protein greek yogurt to keep it moist and fluffy. I hope you are prepared for friends, neighbors, and family to beg you for the recipe, because this one is a crowd-pleaser!

//  Blueberry Greek Yogurt Coffee Cake  //
adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod


Ingredients:

- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla 
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt ( I like Fage 0%)
- 1 cup blueberries


Cinnamon Streusel Filling/Crumb Topping:

- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt


Directions:

1) Preheat over to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to grease an 8-inch square pan.

2) Combine the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

3) In a separate bowl, mix lemon zest and sugar until combined. Next, add butter to the sugar mixer and cream on medium for 3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and smooth.

4) Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time and beat until well combined. Mix the greek yogurt and vanilla into the batter.

5) Now add the dry ingredients slowly until just combined (don't over mix). Carefully fold in fresh blueberries.

6) In order to make the cinnamon streusel filling and crumb topping, put sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and lightly whisk until ingredients are well distributed. On a cutting board, slice stick of butter into small pea-sized chunks. Add butter to flour mixture and work it using your fingers until it reaches a crumb like consistency.

7) Pour half of the batter into the square pan and spread to all edges. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon streusel over the batter making sure it is covered evenly. Next, in small dollops add the remaining portion of batter on top of the crumb filling and lightly spread. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon streusel on top.

8) Place coffee cake on the middle rack and bake until golden. To ensure the middle is baked thoroughly, insert a toothpick into the center portion to see if it comes out clean - approximately 50 minutes. Allow coffee cake to cool down for 10 minutes, cut, and serve.


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Now grab a delicious cup of joe, kick up your fuzzy bunny slippers, and enjoy.

Bon Appetit!


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August 26, 2014

In Case You Need a Smile Today...

I hope this makes you giggle... I know I was chuckling away at my desk.
If only our future redheaded babes will be this awesome, life will be wildly entertaining.

 Watch this... you can thank me later! :)
(Hint: 50 seconds is where it starts to get great!)


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August 25, 2014

Mingle Monday Blog Link-up!

Good morning, friends!
I hope you had a fantastic and very relaxing weekend. Around the Evans house, we watched a little too much Prison Break, took a lot of cozy naps, and snuggled our Beastie. It was heavenly.

I'm looking forward to a great week and to catching up on many of your blogs (I'm so behind on reading!). Thanks for dropping by to link up your blog - I really hop you pass along the word about Mingle Monday today.

Please go say hi to some new bloggers and I hope you get a lot of new, friendly visitors. Enjoy!


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **


1) Link-up your blog below.

2) You must share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or the Mingle Monday photo.
 
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below and have FUN!
 
** Where would you like to see your blog go in the next year? **


________________________________________________________________________________________

Still proud to say that 100% of advertisement sponsorship proceeds go to my charity of choice, the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. There are dozens and dozens of Hope Lodges across the country that give cancer patients a free place to stay while out of town for cancer treatment - such a cool place! 

With just $10, you can get a month long ad and know that it is going to help real cancer patients and their families. So please join me in my fundraising effort by becoming a sponsor HERE!


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.

Happy Monday, party people!

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August 21, 2014

West Elm Hits KC + Great Finds

Hide yo' kids!
Hide yo' wife!
Hide yo'.... wallets?

West Elm is back on the Kansas City scene with a fury, setting up shop in the highly coveted Country Club Plaza area. Ever since the day my beloved home decor store closed it's doors at their original location, I have been praying that it would one day return to KC.

Well folks, today was the ribbon cutting ceremony and I was there welcoming them back with open arms.

...and I'm sure Adam is terrified. #byebyepaycheck


Their store front is a gorgeously decorated space that feels so creative and warm. As I slowly mosied about gawking at the earthy colorful furnishings, I was brainstorming about how we could turn the Haskins House into an equally bold and authentic home.

One of the areas I loved most was their We Local section (full list of local artist vendors here). West Elm commissioned several local artists to create unique pieces for their store, like the incredible tote bag they gave out from Ruff House Art (I also bought the coordinating print in blue for our guest room!), or sell their handcrafted products to the public.

I couldn't resist this incredibly made reclaimed wood rustic arrow by Axel Co. As of this morning's grand opening, I snagged the last one in store, but you can find more on their Etsy shop! This is going to be a fantastic addition to our dining room, and I can see many more Axel Co. purchases in my very near future!



For the event this morning, they gave out a very generous 50% off all purchases, so I was finally able to buy the lacquered jewelry box [read: pricey] I have been eyeing for months! Felt lined, easy access drawers to store my jewelry have been on my wish list for quite some time.


And then on my way to the register, I spotted these colorful beauties. They knew their strategically positioned yellow + gray ikat bowls would be hard to pass up for a sucker like me. I mean they are our wedding colors in a mod pattern, how could I resist?!

Ugh, why do you have to be so amazing, West Elm?


So in case you are in the Kansas City area, stop by West Elm today to score some great pieces and take advantage of their 1-day only 50% off discount. Hollaaa!

In the meantime, I will be consoling my husband by reassuring him that I won't be redirecting my paycheck deposit straight to WE...


// What's on your West Elm wishlist? //

Pretty much the whole store? 
Yeah. We need to start a club.


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August 19, 2014

Gratitude Lately


Lately I've been thankful for gooey Farm-to-Table grilled cheese sandwiches and dining al fresco with friends on unseasonably cool summer days.



For the reminder that sometimes the best views are up.



For tiny gold initials worn around my neck to remind me of the one I love countries away.



For tequila + girl chat at a swanky spot. Two things that should always go together.



For treats in cones and the sprinkles that make them twice as merry.



For new adventures in the city that has stolen my heart and the colorful sites along the way.



For home cooked meals on the patio, and for the ability to google 
"how to put out a grease fire in the oven" quickly.



For snuggly Beasts who like to be the little spoon.

(L to R: Erin, Meredith, Kari, Megan, Angela, Mandy )

For new communities that have brought about friends in the most unconventional way.



For furry companions who can type excel spreadsheets like a boss.



For exploring new gems nestled deep in the city, and the breakfast bounty they provide
which makes it all worth it.



For weekly Monday Family Dinners sharing Big Chewy Monster Cookies and stories
that make our bellies ache.



For checking things off the summer bucket list, especially when they are blackberry + lavender flavored.


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Here's to gratitude and how it makes life fuller, and the smallest things more than enough.

  //  What are you thankful for today? //


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