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Final Night in Kansas City

Posted on July 8, 2018 by under Food and Drink.    

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I got to hang out with the Knowledge Management team in Raytown on my last full day in Kansas City. From left, Aaron, Joy, Molly, Kristy, and Mary Ann.

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Later that night, a few of us got together at Seasons 52 for happy hour. I picked it because (a) I’d never been there before, (b) they had $5 small plates and two glasses of wine and a flatbread pizza for $15 during happy hour, and (c) happy hour there lasts until 7 pm, whereas it usually ends at 6 pm at most places.

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Check out the happy hour menu (above) and the regular menu (below).

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These are the grilled chicken yakitori skewers. They were amazing and the best part is they’re less than 350 calories!

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These are the wood-grilled meatballs. Slightly more calories but also very good.

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Here’s a picture of the flatbread pizza. You’d think it would be tiny considering you’re practically getting it for free during happy hour, but it’s actually a decent size. I think this is the garlic pesto chicken.

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I think this one is the roasted roma tomato flatbread.

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These are the caramelized grilled sea scallops, which is also part of the $5 menu amazingly enough. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place before.

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Had I known about this place sooner, I probably would have made it a point to visit several times. The food was delicious and really inexpensive during happy hour.

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Here are a few pictures of me with my Communications Hub teammates.

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These guys are so fun. I miss them already! Until next time. GNG.

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I Don’t Know Why I Do This To Myself

Posted on July 7, 2018 by under Dreams, Hobbies.    

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A few months ago I signed up for a couple of 5Ks on whim. I don’t know why. I’m not a runner. I mean, I dream of someday being someone who enjoys running but I truly and honestly suck at it. I don’t have the attention span, nor do I have the determination to run for longer than a couple of minutes.

I had a 10K running app on my phone that I was doing for a while last year but then I just kind of fell off and haven’t gotten back on it. I was doing pretty well too but, since I haven’t been doing it, I have to work back up to where I was. With running, it seems like I’m constantly starting over.

Anyway, I joke that I have no idea why I signed up for these 5Ks. I actually signed up for the KMUW one because I love NPR and KMUW is my favorite radio station (and Brian’s too). We both listen to the station all the time. It’s about the only station we listen to on FM radio these days.

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Here’s a picture of my finisher medal. I was so slow that, even though the race started at eight o’clock in the morning, I was actually concerned that I might not make my 10:30 AM Zumba class. I felt so bad for Brian who had to wait for me at the end. He had to wait for almost an hour. Yikes!

Oh, it didn’t help that I started having knee issues leading up to this event. Although, I think it was my body’s way of revolting for my stupid decisions like signing up for 5Ks even though I’m not a runner.

The KMUW run was on May 19. The same day as Logan’s graduation party. That was kind of a hectic day. We got up early and were downtown by seven-ish for the race then I had to teach my Zumba class then Logan’s graduation party then we were back downtown again for Zumba in the Square.

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It was the first one of 2018 and it was a great turn out. I didn’t end up leading any songs at the event because we knew we would be coming from Logan’s graduation party and we weren’t sure what time we would be able to get away.

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Fast forward to the Diva Dask 5K, which my friend Sarah posted about shortly after I’d signed up for the KMUW. It’s a fun run that benefits Girls On the Run. Since I easily get talked into things, I signed up for that one as well. Never mind that I haven’t been running at all and I suck at it. I’m such a joiner!

I could blame peer pressure but it wasn’t even that. I’m just an easy target.

I knew some people at the KMUW race but I was pretty much doing it alone. Diva Dash was the first race that I’d ever done with a group of people. I didn’t get our official group shirt. I should have so I can remember this day forever. I hate running but Diva Dash was actually a lot of fun.

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I did only a smidge better than the KMUW 5K so I was still super slow. But I didn’t die and I had a blast hanging out with my Zumba besties. Incidentally, we called our team “Zumba Divas” — super fitting, right?

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This is embarrassing but I’m posting it anyway just so you get the idea of how badly I suck at running. I would say I’m as slow as molasses but I think I’m probably even slower. LOL. But, hey, it was for a good cause and it was fun.

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Brynden got third place in her age group without even trying. Maybe she tried but she made it look so easy. Her mom Laurie did really awesome also. She got sixth in her age group, which is my same age group. She was one of the fastest and I was one of the slowest. Ugh. Thinking about it makes me sad so we’re moving on.

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Here’s a group photo of us with some princesses.

The craziest part about the races is that, besides not being a runner and completely sucking at running, I had so many excuses not to sign up. When I signed up for both of these events, the summer schedule hadn’t started so I completely forgot about my Aqua Zumba class. It wouldn’t have been a problem if I could run faster but there was no way I could complete the run and make it to Andover YMCA to teach my 8:45 AM class. Thankfully, my friend Eleanor was available to sub.

After the fact, I joked that I should have found a sub for the running and just stuck to teaching my class after I realized I had a schedule conflict because I’m actually better at Zumba. LOL. Speaking of, this is one of my life’s biggest mysteries. I don’t understand how I can do Zumba for hours on end and be unfazed and I cannot stomach two minutes of running.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve cured myself of my running delusion for the time being. There should be no 5Ks or any type of running events in my future for a good long while. If I get any crazy ideas, I hope someone smacks me and talks sense into me so I don’t get myself in the same situation again.

I had fun and I didn’t die so I guess there’s that. GNG.

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Symphony in the Flint Hills 2018

Posted on July 4, 2018 by under Events, Things to Do.    

I’m super behind on the blog so it’s now July and I’m only getting around to posting pictures from this year’s Symphony in the Flint Hills. Before you call me a slacker, you have to understand how crazy busy my schedule has been both in and out of work. It was actually very lucky for us that we were both able to carve out some time for the Symphony this year. If there was any year to go attend the event, this was the year to do it because the site was only 45 minutes from our house. It’s usually about three hours away. It’s rare and special when it’s this close.

The last time that the Symphony was at Rosalia Ranch was four years ago. I couldn’t for the life of me remember why we missed it because we never would have skipped it knowing full well how conveniently close it would be to Wichita. I actually had to look up what we were doing that year. It turns out, we missed the event for a very good reason (and I can’t believe I forgot). We missed the 2014 Symphony in the Flint Hills because we traveled to the Dominican Republic that year to celebrate Brian’s 40th birthday. Can you believe that was four years ago? It’s wild how time just seems to fly by.

Fast forward to 2018 and the Symphony is back at Rosalia Ranch again. The event usually falls around Brian’s birthday but, as soon as we found out about the location, we made a pact not to make any plans that would prevent us from going. We even took it a step further this year and volunteered with the Westar Energy Green Team on the Friday before the event.

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Here’s a picture of some of our group in waiting in the parking lot of the school in Rosalia, down the street from the site. To minimize the impact to the prairie, we met and parked most of our cars at the school and then carpooled to the Symphony site. That way we’re not parking a bunch of cars there.

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Here’s a picture of Ben giving us our briefing.

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Here’s a panoramic view of one side of the Symphony site.

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I took a fun selfie with Caylin (left) and Alex (right) during one of our breaks.

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We worked on several tasks that day. Setting up the patron chairs was one of them. It was very meticulous work. The chairs had to be a specific distance apart and the rows had to be spaced just so.

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A few more selfies… I think we took these during the lunch break.

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This might have been when we were in line for food. That’s my friend Faith with me in the next photo. She and Krystee volunteered with me last year. Krystee wasn’t feeling well and didn’t make it this year but we had a great group from the Contact Center with Alex, Alicia, and Mike volunteering with us.

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Brian disappeared after lunch. He had a heyday driving the telelift forklift. When it was time to leave, we had to have Ben track him down and tell him to quit. He just wanted to drive that thing all day. If it were up to him, he would have worked clear up until sunset and we would have missed Ginger’s retirement party.

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Brian and I went back the next day for the Symphony.

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Here are a few photos.

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These next ones are from the after party.

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Here’s an aerial shot of the Symphony site that I found online courtesy of Kansas Drone Imaging. Do you see us? 😉

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I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to volunteer and also attend the event this year. Next year the Symphony will be back in Chase County. It will be tricky to attend but I hope that we are able to find a way. I just love this event. There’s no better way to enjoy the Symphony and the beautiful Flint Hills sunset. GNG.

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New Movie Theater in Wichita

Posted on July 3, 2018 by under Movies, Things to Do.    

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Brian and I finally got to check out the new (I guess, not so new now) AMC movie theater at the old Northrock 14. We used to go to this theater when we first started dating, before it started getting run down. Eventually, we stopped going there and just went mostly to Warren Theatres for our movies, which had dominated the Wichita movie market. And then eventually the theater closed altogether. Fast forward several years later and the old Northrock 14 has been reincarnated as AMC.

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It’s been completely gutted and remodeled inside. It actually looks very modern and nice. I like the kiosks where you can purchase tickets. There’s very limited contact with people, should you choose. The butter and soda are even self-serve.

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The auditoriums vary in size. Some of them are smaller but they all have the same reclining seats. I also like that they didn’t try to cram so many rows so there’s plenty of room to walk across without getting on top of people.

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I also like that it’s all reserved seating because I’m very picky about sitting smack dab in the middle of the auditorium. This way I don’t have to get there early or fight anyone else for it. I just need to buy my tickets in advance.

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Our first AMC movie was Deadpool 2 a few weeks ago. And then we went back again this weekend for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

We were in smaller auditoriums both times. I wasn’t so keen on the smaller screens at first but I really like the comfortable seats and the auditorium set up. I also like that I don’t have to pay a premium for reserved seating. We will definitely be back!

In the meantime, here are a couple of movie previews for you to enjoy:

Deadpool 2

Solo: A Star Wars Story

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Fun Water Bottle Project

Posted on June 24, 2018 by under Projects.    

Brian surprised me with a really cool, customized insulated water bottle a few weeks ago. We both have S’well bottles that we’d gotten for Christmas a few years back. They work great but they’re kind of expensive.

Recently, Brian found some better insulated water bottles at Walmart. They work like S’well bottles in that they can keep hot things hot for 12 hours and cold things cold for 24 hours but they’re actually better in that they have a wider opening so they’re easier to fill with large chunks of ice and they have a built-in carrying handle. Not to mention they are cheap!

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The Walmart by our house had tons of them in various colors. We saw four sizes: 64, 40, and 26 ounces. And, because we never can just have one of something, we got a bunch in various sizes. You can never have too many insulated water bottles.

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The skinny 26-ounce one was only $12. I mean, we could get three of these for less than the price of one S’well bottle. You can’t beat it.

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The 40-ounce one that Brian got me cost less than $15! The gigantic 64-ounce one was only a few cents more.

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The best part about these water bottles is that if you mess up your project, it’s not too bad because they didn’t cost a fortune.

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Brian’s brilliant project idea was to customize my new water bottle with the Zumba logo and my name. The finished product looked amazing! I could not wait to show it off to friends when I went to Zumba class. It is definitely one of the best surprise gifts that Brian has ever given me!

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Here are some step-by-step progress pics for those of you curious how he did it and want to make your own. Brian says it’s not complicated. It just requires patience more than anything else.

Besides the water bottle, you’ll need permanent paint markers. Brian had some Sharpie ones that he purchased just for this project.

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First, you need to create a template for the design you want to use.

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Then you cover the entire back side for the drawing in pencil lead.

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This is how you get the design to transfer to the water bottle. You can also use carbon paper for this part but this is a nifty trick that Brian learned in art school and it works great in a pinch.

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The next step is to trace the outline in Sharpie and then fill in the design with the paint marker. Brian recommends using the paint markers because they work on any surface and they hold up better than just a regular Sharpie but if you want to use a regular Sharpie I guess you could.

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Once you’ve filled in the design, let it dry for at least 24 hours.

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Next, he added my name to make it extra special. You can freehand this part if you have neat handwriting. Brian opted to use a nice font because he’s a perfectionist who is gifting this to another perfectionist. LOL.

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You use the same steps as before to transfer the design to the bottle, fill it in with the paint marker, and then let it dry for another 24 hours.

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Voila! There you have it. A very cool customized water bottle that will keep your water (or beverage of choice) a constant temperature throughout the day. It’s so easy that Alex actually did hers during Brian’s party last weekend.

Anyway, I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful. Next weekend Brian and I plan to each do a water bottle project LIVE on our FLIP + CHING Facebook page. Tune in on Sunday, July 1, around 9:30 AM.

If you’ve done a similar project before, let us know how it went in the comments. We love hearing ideas and learning from others.

Until then, happy crafting and GNG!

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