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White Elephant and Sneaky Santa

Posted on January 8, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

I got to participate in several White Elephant (or, as Missy calls it, Sneaky Santa) gift exchanges this holiday season with one more coming up this Friday because my work (CRC) one had to be postponed until more people could attend.

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The Smiths hosted a beer-themed White Elephant gift exchange at their home. Brian and I missed it last year so we were happy to be able to attend this time.

Chad posted the most hilarious instructions on the event page. See below.

Official Beer Gift Exchange Rules

Guests are welcome, but anyone wanting to participate must bring a beer gift. All guests must be of age.

All beer gifts must be wrapped. If possible, please chill your gift before the exchange.

Upon arrival, beer gifts will be placed under our festive holiday tree and you will be given a number from our festive holiday hat. Festive holiday sweaters are encouraged.

Anyone who wants to participate, but cannot attend can drop off their beer gift before the exchange and FaceTime/Hangout/Skype their selection.

Beer gifts can be stolen twice during the exchange. You are welcome to trade bottles afterwards.

Mass produced light beers are strictly prohibited. Anyone caught gifting one will be forced to leave with their poor choice of beverage. (We will review security footage if necessary.)

Brian brought his favorite beer for the gift exchange, which Jeff ended up getting.

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My team had our holiday luncheon in Topeka where we played the “ball of plastic wrap” game and had a White Elephant gift exchange. The funniest part about this is that I attended a meeting in Topeka on Monday and left my gift on Kelsey’s desk for safe keeping. I told her that I didn’t want to lug the present to my hotel room in Kansas City (or leave it in the car and tempt people) only to bring it back on Thursday. Well, she must not have been paying attention because she accidentally unwrapped it later that day. LOL.

She repackaged it for me but I guess at least one other person on our team saw her unwrap it so my White Elephant gift wasn’t as much of a surprise.

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I did get this nifty wall d├ęcor at the luncheon that Brian helped me hang. I immediately wanted it when I saw it because both of our cork catchers were getting quite full. This worked out perfect!

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Missy had a Sneaky Santa (that’s what she calls White Elephant gift exchanges) at the end of her Christmas Eve class. I got a Bath and Body Works, warm vanilla sugar shower gel from that one.

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We also had one at our house during the Zumba World Party Party. I made the price range $5-10 for this one so no one brought a toilet seat and plunger this time.

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Oh, I was a jerk who didn’t want to mess with drawing numbers so I made everyone go by age — oldest first. Some people, who do not like to reveal their ages, were not too thrilled about that one. LOL.

I love White Elephant gift exchanges. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do during the holidays. I can’t wait until we have the CRC one this Friday.

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Holiday Ping Pong Tournament

Posted on January 7, 2018 by under Events.    

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I played in Uncle Roy’s first Holiday Ping Pong Tournament last month and didn’t do too bad. I’m still learning how to play so I didn’t really expect to get very far in the field. I think in the very first ping pong tournament I played, I was eliminated in the first round.

I was a little bit worried because my first match was with Vic. It was a close one but I came from behind to win it. My next match after that was with Roy and I knew I wouldn’t be advancing.

Picture of me, Brian, and Uncle Roy

I lost my match in the losers bracket also. However, the guy who ultimately won the tournament came from the losers bracket to win it. He was new to Uncle Roy’s ping pong events as well. He was a friend of a friend and, much to everyone’s surprise, he walked away with the trophy — the trophy that we all thought Uncle Roy would win because he ALWAYS wins. Not this time, apparently.

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Here’s a picture of the champ, Robbie. He actually had to beat Roy twice to win since Roy was undefeated going into the championship round.

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Check out this beautiful trophy. It’s heavy too.

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Brian got a few photos of me playing.

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I think Vic was completely shocked that I won against him and he challenged me to another game after the tournament. As luck would have it, I won again!

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Here’s a picture of me and Jen, Vic’s better half.

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It was super fun. I hope I get invited to one of these events again.

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Brynden’s First Zumba Class

Posted on January 5, 2018 by under Zumba.    

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One of my newest Zumba friends recently completed Zumba Basic 1 training and got her license to teach Zumba. I was lucky enough to attend her very first class at La Selva MMA and Fitness in Derby.

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Here are few pictures from her first class.

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This is Brynden’s mom, Laurie.

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We took a couple of group photos after class.

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We celebrated her first class at Carlos O’Kelly’s after, which is our usual post-Zumba thing. I’m so glad I could be there for her first class and support her.

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New Addiction

Posted on January 4, 2018 by under Shopping.    

Brian and I recently discovered Stitch Fix and are now completely addicted. I first discovered it through one of my colleagues in Kansas City. She is petite like me and she was wearing this super cute long cardigan one day. I asked her where she got it and that’s when she told me about Stitch Fix.

She’s been on Stitch Fix for over a year now and she has been very pleased with the service. She said the stylists actually learn what you like and don’t like based on the feedback you provide after each delivery. They know her so well now that she usually likes almost everything they send her.

My main challenge has been that I don’t really have much time for shopping and find it time consuming to find things that fit me. When I do shop and buy things that I like, I usually have to get them tailored because they’re almost always too long. I was very impressed with the fact that they send her items according to her measurements so I was eager to give it a try. I wanted to see how well they could do with me after completing my styling survey and providing my measurements.

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Here’s what they sent me in my first shipment.

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I received two pants, two tops and a pair of earrings. I didn’t really need a new pair of earrings but the Maryln Schiff earrings they sent me are super cute and go with literally everything. I have been wearing them nonstop ever since I got them.

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I was super impressed with the two pants they sent. Not only were the pants of great quality but they fit me amazingly well. I didn’t even need to get them hemmed. They were the perfect length.

The black skinny pants are by Liverpool and the maroonish skinny jeans are by Just Black. They both fit and feel amazing on but I have to say that the Liverpool pants are my favorite. They are, by far, the best, most comfortable pants I’ve ever owned.

I also loved the Collective Concepts blouse from this shipment. They go really well with the black Liverpool skinny pants. I have worn them several times since I got them. The only item in my box that I wasn’t too crazy about was the cold-shoulder blouse. It’s just too trendy for me and really isn’t my style. It also felt a little baggy. I just didn’t think it looked great on. I was thrilled with everything else though.

I loved my Stitch Fix experience so much that I talked Brian into joining. Here are a few pictures from his unboxing of his first ever Stitch Fix delivery.

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The presentation is super nice. It really gets you excited to unbox what’s inside.

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Here’s what Brian got in his second box.

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If you don’t like to go to the mall or are otherwise too busy to shop, this service is absolutely perfect. Shipping and returns are free and they make it super simple with a postage paid bag that you can use to return any items you don’t want to keep. The catch is that there’s a $20 styling fee. They keep the fee if you don’t buy anything but you can use the $20 towards any items you purchase.

I personally think it’s a good deal.

I do have a special offer for you guys where you can try Stitch Fix at no risk. If you use this link then they will waive the $20 styling fee for your first box so you lose absolutely nothing even if you decide not to keep any items at all.

It is really neat and so we hope you guys decide to give Stitch Fix a try. It will completely revolutionize the way you shop for clothes.

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12 Class Challenge

Posted on January 3, 2018 by under Life.    

Every year the Greater Wichita YMCA incentivizes people to exercise and stay healthy throughout the holidays by holding a 12 Class Challenge program. Basically, you sign up for $10 and you get a card that has 12 boxes. After participating in a group exercise class, you have the instructor initial (or sign) and date a box. Once you have completed all 12 space, you turn your completed card in to the front desk of your local YMCA to redeem your awesome, limited edition 12 Class Challenge shirt. It’s really a brilliant program and is a huge hit every year.

Here’s a vintage video I found on YouTube of local realtor Kathy Ambrose, who does a great job of explaining the how the 12 Class Challenge program works.

The sign up cost was only $5 back when this video was made. The cost this past holiday season was $10 but that didn’t matter. It’s still as popular as ever. My students get a huge kick out of participating and completing their cards.

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They are so enthusiastic about this program that I actually had two students complete their cards about a week into the program. The challenge officially started the week of Thanksgiving and by December 2, they were both done.

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The only downside of finishing too soon is that sometimes the shirts haven’t arrived yet so you have to hang on to your card for a bit until the shirts are available. I believe that the shirts are available now so if you completed your 12 Class Challenge card then head on over to your local YMCA branch and grab yourself a shirt.

You earned it!

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