Monday, November 30

Flor Sale!

Straw, Sticks & Bricks formed in 2001, when "green" wasn't part of the daily lexicon. It's now an invaluable green building resource for homeowners in the Midwest. You can pick up FLOR tiles at bigger retailers like Target, but you don't get to choose from their extensive line or get the personal service and design expertise like you would from Teri Bengston and Lori McCann, who helm the Kansas City location. Give them a call!

Joy Luck

George and I love to pick out ornaments together every Christmas. We don't have a one ornament a year tradition or anything, we just pick out fun ones that we like. This fortune cookie ornament by artist Rae Dunn  is perfect, especially the Luck one because it combines a little bit of both of us, the fortune cookie for me and the luck of the Irish for George. What kind of holiday traditions do you celebrate every year? via Poppytalk 

Monday, November 23

Advent Calendar

My friend Jeanne sent me an email with this photo. I think I have to make one for George! Christmas is his absolute favorite holiday. I know he's going to loooove this calendar.

Update: Just went to World Market yesterday, where you can buy single bottles, and spent a good chunk of change in the beer department, 25 different bottles and styles to share until Christmas! Maybe this will have to be a new tradition.

Middlecreek Winery

This weekend, we took a mini roadtrip to Louisburg, Kansas and visited with farmer winemakers, Stephen and Kristin Graue at Middlecreek Winery. In addition to grapevines, they also grow peaches, apples and persimmons. Having not grown up in the country, I always find the little details of farm life so fascinating. 

Like this giant pile of horse poop. I should have worn my wellies!
George - always ready to cheese it up on farm equipment.
These two horses lived across the road
from each other, and must be best buddies
because they "talked" to one another
the whole time we were there.

The white one was also plop, plop, poopin'
while I was taking his picture. :)
What a ham! He was following me around waiting for a photo op!
It's been so warm this November.
The flowers are confused and blooming again.
Cute but stinky dog and his house.
They even have their own honeybees.
I love the blue, white and cream of their hives.

Tuesday, November 17

What a Deal!!!

Get special deals in Kansas City (and all over the U.S) through There's something new everyday. It's a huge discount. And there have to be enough people interested for the "groupon" to work. My sister just turned me onto this site TODAY.

What an amazing marketing tool. As a business, it IS a huge discount, but you're getting people in your door and talking about you. Those are marketing dollars you need to spend!

We both got $100 gift certificates to Shine Spa in Westport for $35. Can't wait to do a spa day with my girls! Now, I have to see if there's a Groupon for a Westport restaurant/bar. Cause you know I'll be all over that. You know that high you get when you score a good deal? I'm on it. :)

Urban Picnic 2010

I am chairing next year's Urban Picnic, a food showcase for Kansas City's independent restaurant group, the Kansas City Originals. One of the goals of the event is to get every single member to participate in the event. To accomplish that, we are asking members to vote on one of two themes themes: an earthy, picnic in the woods or a modern, black and white picnic. The votes are rolling in now. What do you guys think? Would you prefer an Alice in Wonderland-type fantasy or something more polished and classic? Thanks to the blogosphere for all images on our inspiration board.

This is one of my absolute favorite events to attend every year. And with our amazing committee on board, Urban Picnic 2010 (slated for April) is going to be one of the best. I'll keep you updated on event details and I hope you can join us! 

Monday, November 16

Fall Centerpiece

photo by Colin Cooke
Okay, so Halloween's over, but we all know pumpkins and gourds don't skip town till after Thanksgiving. With prime table space usually reserved for all the yummy edible food, try propping this gourd on top of a cake stand. via Sweet Paul

Friday, November 13

My Parents Were Awesome

I heard about this blog on NPR yesterday. I can't wait to submit my parents and see if they finally get their 15 minutes. Blog founder Eliot Glazer said people submit photos saying that their parents are STILL awesome. That's not hard to believe!

Tuesday, November 10

Mural Art

Not everyone appreciates art on buildings (aka graffiti), but these murals are fantastic, don't you think? It's a public art project called A Love Letter for You, in West Philadelphia by Stephen Powers. Click here to see more murals, the blog and the positive press they've been receiving (along with naysayer comments). via Bird & Banner

Table Setting

This is actually a clever portolio image by Transformer Studios for client La Strada, a cafe. The warm browns and taupes set a neutral, elegant background for the orangey-red pieces to really pop. via designworklife

Dress Up

After leaving Donna's Dress Shop with some fun finds (namely a "Wild Things" fur hat and one disco blouse), we went home, played dress up and whipped out the camera. For Rebecca, we layered on tons of brown in varying patterns and materials. For Trinh, it was all about layering stockings and mixing metallics. Thanks for a hilarious evening girls!

Monday, November 9


Synergy Services began as a shelter for runaway and homeless teens but has grown to also provide services for young children and women who have been victimized by abuse. Their most recent awareness campaign occurred at First Friday in the Crossroads and it was startling. "Kids" sat on the streets, their heads were bowed down, faces hidden from us.

At first glance, they look so real you turn your head away to avoid seeing how real homelessness is for so many people. It's especially heartbreaking to know that a child is on his/her own and on the streets. That's what makes this campaign so successful. It makes you look twice, it pulls at your heartstrings and it compels you to act. Click here to find out how you can help.

Bacon Cream Cheese

Last month, I shared this cream cheese post and recently tried it out for brunch. It turned out great and was super easy.

Garlic-Bacon-Basil Cream Cheese
A Bristow Fresh take on a P&L creation

1 head of garlic, roasted
1 pkg bacon, fried ( I like thick cut bacon)
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
2-3 sprigs of basil
1 french baguette
salt + pepper to taste
olive oil or butter

{+} Roast garlic, unpeeled for about 10 minutes. I use a toaster oven but you can do it in the oven or on the stove top. Remember to turn frequently to avoid burning. When cooled, peel skin and roughly chop.

{+} Cook bacon and chop into small pieces. Set aside a handful for garnish.

{+} Roughly chop basil. Set aside a handful for garnish.

{+} Slice bread at a diagonal. Brush with butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of salt. Toast until golden brown.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients (except bread and garnish, duh) and blend for a few minutes until creamy and ingredients are blended. Spread cream cheese mixture onto toasted baguettes. Garnish with bacon and fresh basil.

I whipped this out in about twenty minutes. Everything goes pretty fast so get all your ingredients prepped so you don't burn anything. Next time I'm going to try this with cilantro instead of basil. And be creative with your toppings. Sun-dried tomatoes, pistachios, or mushrooms would be fantastic too. Happy cooking!

Thursday, November 5

Love & Adoration

photos by Garance DorĂ©
This guy is hot. And French. 
His wife sewed a red heart on the inside of his shirt pocket. Ah, romance. And I have to share this comment from on her readers on this post. It was so funny and so true. I heart Garance too.

Satpreet said:

Having read this blog for so long and with your writing style and friendliness, I really do feel like we’re friends. Like we know each other and have tea and laugh at bad television together. But we’ve never actually done any of those things or even met or talked. And then I feel creepy. What I’m trying to say is, you’re fantastic. And I love your blog. And we should be friends. Don’t you think?

Wednesday, November 4

Mug Love

I saw this pretty, little mug at Anthropologie and fell in love with how perfectly it cupped into my hands. But I wasn't shopping for me that day, focus, focus, focus! I carried that mug around, molested it for a while, and finally put it back. But my thoughtful husband (who really does pay attention) saw me pining and surprise! I came home from work, saw the box and KNEW exactly what was in it. Thank you George, I love, love, love it! See the other designs and colors below.