Wednesday, April 17

The Overall Co.

When you live in a city like Kansas City that has a wide range and selection of beautifully designed restaurants, you kind of take for granted that wherever you go, there will be equally nice restaurants abounding in other towns, even if they are small and quaint. Usually that's not the case and when you do run into such a gem, it's always a treat. I loved the look of The Overall Company from our first drive past it: the painted signage outside, the metal doors, the lighting, the fonts they use for the logo, in the windows and on their sandwich board. It was all so nicely done and carefully thought through. 

As soon as I walked inside, I knew my feeling about it was right. It's your perfect little cross between coffeeshop, bistro, market and art gallery. The regulars were all there with coffees in hand and laptops open, working away. You order at the counter but not before walking past a neat selection of wine, craft beers and handmade goods like Hammerpress greeting cards(!), Savannah Bee Company Honey, handmade soaps, and made in the USA Overall Co. v-neck tees that were so soft. 

We didn't get a chance to try anything food-wise because of a cranky child who shall not be named, but the menu looked fantastic. I wanted to try their pimiento sandwich for a taste of the South; the macaroons underneath their glass dome, artisan ice pops and other sweets looked so tempting too. Instead, we all grabbed coffees and sodas and went for a quick seat in their outdoor rooftop patio.

This "coffee shop" is a spacious two floors with office share for other businesses. I would be so happy to have The Overall Co. as my office mate. There was an eclectic mix of antique and handcrafted furniture, all very sturdy and comfy. And the bar made of pallets had my mind spinning with possibilities. Actually, I took a lot of mental notes for styling and interiors that I plan on happily stealing for my next fundraising event.

If you're ever driving through Opelika (oh-puh-LIKE-ah), Alabama, take a moment to stop in. And if you can't, they also have a drive through (the best looking drive through I have ever seen)!

Tuesday, April 16

You Look Great. Really.

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is going to be a real lightbulb moment for many women. You aren't as butt ugly as you think you are. We always obsess about the weight we've gained, the giant zit that pops up out of nowhere and stays for weeks or how wrecked our hair has become. At the end of the day, no one notices. No one is judging you. They remember you for your actions, your heart, your smile. But the extra five pounds? No one gives a shit except you. And the flip side of this coin? No matter how many times you hear this, no matter how much you understand this mentally, so many of us are still going to obsess, be self-critical and hate the reflection in the mirror.

Adweek is 100% right in that it's a beautiful ad with a great message. You can read the whole story here. It was ingenious to hire a criminal sketch artist for the comparisons, but, but, but....

As much as I wanted to like this ad for its message that you see yourself much harsher than others see you, I'm wondering why out of the seven women, they only interviewed and gave voice to the white women. What happened to the thoughts of the two black women and one Asian woman? I felt like they did the obligatory showing of diversity, but then glossed right over them. Did their reactions or comments just not fall in line with the message they were trying to sell? If so, I get it. It's an ad, not a research paper, not a feature news article. But showing them so briefly and then omitting their reactions brought up more questions which distracted me from the message. But I'm sensitive to these kinds of disparity. Just something for ad people to think about.

Update: After I shared this post, a friend shared another blogger's viewpoint of the ad with me and I urge you to go read it here. Jazzy Little Drops does a superb analysis of the ad in a way that I only felt in the edges of my subconscious but couldn't really put my finger on. Then she articulated it in such a meaningful way for me and I'm sure many others. Although she's gotten some negative backlash on her assessment of the ad in comments calling her "uptight, a dork, and over-analytical," I applaud her clear voice. Diversity is an important issue and unless we continue to challenge these so-called positive messages for reinforcing the meaning of beauty and the definition of American, we're going to continue being brainwashed in what real beauty looks and feels like.

Monday, April 15

Camper Heaven

On a recent trip to Chewacla State Park in Auburn Alabama, we saw a campground full of insanely cute vintage campers. After a quick drive around, we hopped out to take pictures and talk to the campers. They were so very nice to let us take as many photos as we wanted and even invited us in to take a look around. These campers are obviously very loved and well cared for. It was a treat not only for all the adults, but our friends' kids too. They made themselves right at home as children so easily do.

The very first camper was a well-coordinated orange and white Aristocrat Lo-Liner. Everything from the clock on the tree to the awning and golf cart was decked out in bright orange accents. The gentleman who owned this sweet ride is a volunteer at the park.

Next up was the Teardrop, a tiny little thing that gets hauled around. The owner was away but left it wide open for random visitors just like us! The neighbors next door told us to look as much as wanted.

There was also a really great collection of tin campers like the Airstream. No one was home so we didn't peek into those, but really, I wish everyone had been there that day.

And finally, there was the 1971 Serro Scotty HiLander. The aqua and white reminded me of Little Freshie's snowcone trailer here in Kansas City. The owner of the orange Lo-Liner scooted on ahead of us to let her know we were coming around. There were 11 campers in that area and they seemed to know each other well. The Scotty was named Bubbles and it was definitely a lady trailer. Everything was decked out in girly pink, florals, crochet and flamingos. Even her water was tinted pink. The kids were just dying over Bubbles, especially since she had a chocolate cake right inside all ready for her dinner party later that night. She handed us all chocolates, chatted away and welcomed us warmly. Even though we were kind of intruding on her party prepping. :)

I have always had a thing for campers, ever since I played in my neighbor's RV as a kid. One day, I hope to find a little bit of heaven just like this for my retirement years. What a way to live! 

Tuesday, February 26

Snowed In

Along with everyone else today, I took a bunch of snow pictures. Stay warm and safe!