March 31, 2010

Back to Ballet!




T hose of you who know me well know that I am all about new adventures and cultural experiences... which is why today is the day that my ballet class begins.

That's right, ballet class!

Promptly after my work day is over, I will be headed downtown (pink slippers in tow) with my lovely cousins to embark on a new adventure/hobby.

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, and I absolutely love everything about it. The three of us are always seeking out new adventures, and although they have never taken ballet before, I already know it's going to be a good time!

It's been quite sometime since I last danced, but I couldn't be more excited to dawn my ballet shoes tonight. Excited for a stellar workout and I know it's going to be a complete BLAST (and potential cousin giggle fest - everything is hilarious when we get together)!



...Welp, hope I still remember how to plie... wish me luck!



Hurray for new hobbies!






March 30, 2010

Spring Cleaning for Charity


I don't know about you, but after a long winter cooped up inside, I welcome Spring with open arms! Yes, spring is commonly associated with green trees, new blooms, chirping birds and mushy love, but I need some spring cleaning in my life! (Trust me.)

I started this process toward the end of February, but it really went into action this past Sunday afternoon. After being sick and tired of clutter and disorganization - I went to town on my little place!

The spring cleaning project was a selfish motive at first, but then I got to thinking about all the people that could use the things I was weeding out. So, I wanted to challenge you to spring clean for charity today in 3 easy steps:

____________________________________


1) De-clutter your life!

- How much junk do you have stuffed in drawers? Do you have bins of barely used toiletries under your sink or rejected clothing hanging in your closet? Get rid of it! There are so many people in your city who desperately need the things that we take for granted: clothes, food & toiletries.

Start off, by identifying which rooms have hidden junk. Go through each room and make a piles:

1) Yes - I am, for sure keeping this.

2) Maybe - I might need this later.

3) No - This has to go A.S.A.P.


Now take your "Maybe" and "No" piles and bag them up! I know, I know... I debated about the maybe pile too, but if it's a "Maybe" that means it's not a "Yes"! Be sure to sort out old papers and recyclables, unused non-perishable food, clothing/miscellaneous and trash.


2) Give to Those in Need

The charities in your city are there for a reason - they need YOUR help! Each charity has been developed to meet a specific public need, so this is where you come into play. Put all of the clothes that you didn't wear, food you didn't eat and papers you no longer need to good use!

Turn your "trash" into other people's treasure! Not sure where to take your hand-me-downs? The national links listed below will help you find a location near you!

Clothing/Accessories

- Salvation Army
- Goodwill


Food

- Feeding America
- Ample Harvest


Toiletries
- Johnnie's House (Domestic Violence)
- Homeless Shelters


Recyclables
- Earth 911



3) Celebrate Your Generosity!


Make spring cleaning for charity a friends and family affair - after all, you're not the only one with junk! Once you have cleared your place and made your donations, go celebrate by grabbing ice cream with your cleaning team or going on a picnic.

Give yourself a good pat on the back! It takes a lot of heart, energy and time to do what you just did, so go celebrate giving back and helping others.



Imagine a world where everyone looked out for others and lended a helping hand. Be a trailblazer and inspire others to give back in your community!

Cheers to charity!


How To Have A Lovely Day



Bonjour, dear friends! I happened to stumble across this lovely "how to" and just knew that I had to share it with you today...


_____________________________


_____________________________



Isn't this such a wonderful little truth for today? I thought so! Today is absolutely beautiful, and I can think of many reasons why today is lovely...


~ 8.5 hours of sleep makes me a happy girl
~ My favorite song came on the radio on my way to work
~ Warm weather = cute strappy sandals
~ I'm wearing a bright red, twirl-worthy dress
~ Only 2 work days left this week
~ Today is the perfect, warm, sunshiney spring day
~ I don't have to cook tonight
~ Dinner will be enjoyed outside on a lovely patio
~ I get to enjoy the company of my handsome BF this evening


...Wishing you and yours a truly lovely day!



March 26, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I could not be any happier that today is Friday! Yes, I am super excited that the long work week is over, but I'm even more pumped because I get to see most of my hometown best friends for an extravagant KC girls weekend! Ahhhh!



The only part that I am not looking forward to is choosing a handful of fun things to do after we have narrowed down the extensive list of KC's finest! So, in order to help ease our habitual indecisiveness, I have made a fun list of things we could do!

I believe once the girls get in tonight, we are going to grab some grub from one of the local places just up the street from my place! Chipotle is always an easy safety net for us, but if we're craving some local flavor we may have to check out SPIN Neapolitan Pizza. Mmmm... love that place!

After we're stuffed to the brim, we are going to grab some tasty girly drinks (I have my fingers crossed for some good sangria) at the local store and head back to my casita. Naturally, we're going to change into our jammies, brush each others hair as we sit in a circle, and giggle about boys... because that's what girls do, right?

Wrong! There is no telling what this group of girls is capable of. Look out KC!


After getting up in the morning, we will probably end up hitting up Starbucks and chat about what the day holds. It would be a beautiful day to head down to the River Market district and go check out all of the wonderful things that City Market, our local outdoor farmers market, has to offer! Yum!

Perhaps we will go "window browsing" in Westport and then stash our multiple "window browsing" bags (and denial) in the car, before heading to our next adventure.


Elbow Chocolates, based right here in the metro, would be a great pick-me-up for the afternoon! I was just on their Web site yesterday and discovered they have their Easter egg chocolate sampler out!

Don't they look too pretty to eat?


The real question is what will we do with ourselves on Saturday night? As always, we welcome long, locally unique gourmet dinners, but however will we choose from the lengthy list of delicious restaurants?!

Well, being the sports fanatic that I am, and my dear friend being a K-stater, we can't miss the game! The only problem is how can we creatively bribe the other girls into allowing our game viewing? Perhaps dessert and drinks on us will do the trick (cross your fingers for us!)?

I am hoping Sunday is just lazy, complete with sleeping in and a late brunch before the girls have to head out in the afternoon! What a wonderful time to look forward to.

What are you up to this weekend? I hope you find yourself surrounded by friends making amazing memories...


March 25, 2010

Megnificent Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

In all the world of cookies, there is not one that I love more than the classic oatmeal raisin. Between the heartiness of the oatmeal, warm spices of the cinnamon and nutmeg, and chewiness of the plump raisins, this cookie just cannot be beat in my book.

I have spent more than six months trying to create the perfect recipe. I have tried every oatmeal raisin cookie recipe I could get my hands on, so now I must pass along my creation to you!

Megnificent Oatmeal Raisin Cookies




Ingredients:

- 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened - not melted)
- 1 cup golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon authentic vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3 cups quick oats
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup regular raisins



Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat liquid mix well.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt and spices. Slowly add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture and mix well.

3) Stir oats and raisins into the dough, mixing well.

4) Scoop dough in medium spoonfulls onto a cookie sheet (I always use a Silpat when baking. Perfect cookies guaranteed!). Bake for exactly 10 minutes.

5) Cookies will not look fully done when removing them from the over. Let the cookies set-up on the cookie sheet for only 1-2 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.


After setting-up for just a few minutes, these cookies are warm, chewy and full of juicy raisins - yum! Grab a fresh glass of milk and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!


Oh, Happy Day!

Mmm, Thursday. The weekend is within our grasp... how excited are you?! Well, once again it's a cloudy, rainy morning here in the metro. This weather has caused quite a stir in the office today, but despite the pessimism... I'm loving every minute of this rainy Thursday!



I came across this photo recently and think it is absolutely lovely. Every bit of "Meg" essence, if I do say so myself. For whatever reason, I find rainy days full of magic and whimsy. It's like the very first day that it snows big, fluffy snowflakes... everything is just so spontaneous and wonderful, and you find yourself captivated to relish the moment.

On a lovely rainy day like today, there is nothing more that I want in the world than to enjoy my favorite things...


- A good book
- Delicious hot tea
- Wonderful company
- The music stylings of Missy Higgins
- Baking delicious cookies
- Snuggling with Bella Beast
- Overly sappy romantic movies
- Putting together a puzzle
- Lounging in my sweatpants and newly favorite BF sweatshirt



What makes you happy today? Wishing you a wonderfully rainy day full of whimsy!


March 23, 2010

John Mayer - Live in KC!

Many people around the world have created bucket lists of things they want to do before they die. I would like to say that I have one amazing list, but in all reality I have not spent the time to think of what those things would be.

Although my list has not yet been created, I think I checked off a huge box last night - John Mayer live in concert from 2nd row floor seats. I. Was. In. Heaven.



It all started in November when BF gave me the best semi-birthday/half Christmas present ever. Yes, ever. I was just shocked knowing I was going to get to see THE John Mayer in concert. So, you can imagine how floored I was when I realized we were going to be sitting 2 rows back right in front on the legend himself.

After 4 months of waiting, we got to have the entire John Mayer concert experience last night, and let me just tell you, it was the best concert I have ever been to!

San Francisco based Michael Franti & Spearhead opened the concert last night and I was blown away by their high energy hip-hop/reggae performance. They have their first Top 20's single, "Say Hey (I love You)", out on mainstream radio, which was the only song of theirs that I knew. After hearing a selection of new and past album songs, I knew that I needed their album A.S.A.P.

Michael Franti came out into the audience and walked all the way through crowds all around the venue just jamming with people. Of course, they played their hit single last and he invited a ton of kids to come dance and sing with him up on stage. All together an amazing performance that got us warmed up for what was to come.

Set List Faves
(Check them out - amazing!)

- "Sound of Sunshine"
- "I Got Love For You"
- "Hey World"



Well, after last night, I feel like I can't hear a thing! Between cheering for John Mayer myself, and hearing thousands of girls (middle school to suburban moms) screaming at the top of their lungs, I think my little ears are broken today.

Anyway, he started off with a great opening set, both a mix of his new stuff (i.e. "Heartbreak Warfare") and his well-known staples from Room for Squares (personal fave: "No Such Thing"), we were pumped! He did some cool mixes of his music, Journey and others, which was so awesome to hear a concert exclusive that i haven't heard before.

It turns out that John Mayer is a pretty hilarious guy. He was interacting a lot with his audience, and the best thing ever was when he commented on several clever fan signs that he saw out in the audience. My personal fave was a huge sign that read, "Shirts are expensive, can I have yours?", held by a big burly guy about 20 rows back. That makes me laugh just thinking about it!


And oh man, our seats could not have been any better. We were back just one row, which was far enough to see over the security and fencing but still only feet from him (pictures to post on FB soon!).

He took the stage at about 9:30 or so and played all the way up until 30 minutes before midnight, which was incredible! For the encore, he came back out on stage wearing a Kansas City Wizards jersey and the crowd just went nuts! Let me just tell you, if you have the chance to see him live, don't even hesitate to buy tickets. I would see that exact same concert a million more times if I could!

Altogether, it was an amazing evening with great company and many fantastic memories made (thank you, BF!). I hope all of you are off to a great start this week! Hugs and love from the big KC!


March 19, 2010

March Madness B-day Palooza

Why hello, friends! It's been quite awhile since I last posted (busy week!), but I'm BACK!


Are you ready for a fabulous March-Madness-constant-basketball-watching-can't-eat-can't-sleep weekend? I know I am, or at least I am as ready as I'll ever be! Since it's BF's birthday on Sunday, he decided he wanted to spend the weekend in Wichita with me and some of our families/friends watching the tourney and what not.
So, we've been planning on this little Kansas road trip for weeks now, and we just got word that it's supposed to snow 6-12 inches in the Wichita metro area... umm WHAT?!


It was literally almost 70 degrees yesterday. Bright, sunny and absolutely fabulous - how on earth could there be a blizzard headed our way?

Nevertheless, we are still planning on March Madness birthday palooza weekend. BF said, "Don't worry, hunny, I'll pack a couple quilts, some ropes and a shovel just in case." Just in case what? Just in case we get trapped in a freak blizzard and have to dig ourselves out? Creepy.



Well, you know what, it's his birthday and we're excited, so nothing is going to keep us from a fabulous weekend! His plan is for me to round up Bella Beast, he's going to pick up some Starbucks for me (Isn't he so good to me?! Gee golly...), and then hit the road early in the morning with the rest of the crazies!

But first, we have to get through tonight's festivities! BF just bought an amazing house, so he invited a bunch of friends and family over to his new place for an open house/bday/basketball extravaganza. Mmm... I love parties! Per request of the soon-to-be birthday boy, I made a scrumptious 2-layer coconut cake (recipe coming soon) for all of us to enjoy, and I'm also trying out a new recipe for queso blanco - Delish!


Tomorrow, we may be the only idiots on the road, but once we safely escape arctic storm 2010, we are planning to spend all day just relaxing.

It will be nice just laying around, watching basketball, chatting (although I was unfortunately informed of the March Madness no-talking-unless-it's-a-game-comment rule last night - What? Who makes these rules?!) and having some quality time all together - it should be a blast!


And just in case your bracket is absolutely terrible, mine is still doing great - hoping to win some money!

Final Four prediction: Kstate, KU, Kentucky and Baylor (May the Big 12 conquer all!), with K-State totally stomping KU for a spot in the championship! What are your March Madness predictions? Are they as amazing as mine? Probably not, but it's okay... I won't rub it in too much.


What are you crazy kids up to, this weekend? Any snow storms or celebrations in your forecast?!


Wishing you a lovely weekend full of laughter and fun!


March 16, 2010

Top 10 Fashion Faux Pas

Holy cow... what on earth are people thinking?


Inspired by a recent fashion post that I read on my daily fave, The Bright Side Project, I have decided to declare the top 10 fashion faux pas of 2010. Seriously though, for the love of Pete, why on earth did we think bringing back shoulder pads was a good idea?

If we have to bring something back, that means it died out at one point, and for a very good reason - u.g.l.y!

So for your viewing pleasure...






Top 10 Fashion Faux Pas of 2010

______________________________________________________

10) Thigh High Boots
- Unless your name is Julie Roberts and it's 1990, you can't pull this off.





9) Rompers
- Sorry, Blake Lively, you might need a new wardrobe... eeek!





8) Hippie (Fore)headbands
- I refuse to even comment. Ugh, gross.





7) Shoulder Pads
- I mean maybe for some freakish sci-fi musical?





6) Anything Neon
- Nobody, yes I said nobody, looks good in neon. Ever. Ever.





5) Colored Ray Ban Sunglasses
- Are those 3D glasses?





4) Uggs and Booty Shorts
- Perhaps these people are habitually indecisive about their day plans? I mean I have a hard time choosing between snow shoeing and beach volleyball too.





3) Bump-its
- People must see some girl's hair and wonder if she has an oddly shaped head or has stored her lunch leftovers under her hair. It's just weird...






2) Crocs
- I don't care how comfortable and amazing some say these shoes are, they are hands down, without-a-doubt ugly.





1) Leggings as Pants
- It doesn't matter how skinny you are, tights do not = pants. Seriously.



____________________________________________


Well, when all is said and done, I know there are far too many terrible trends still circulating in the world. So tell me... What is your biggest fashion pet peeve?


01 09 10