Brian and I had a blast last night at the 21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel. We were excited for the opportunity to attend the event again this year because we had a great time last year.
Our table consisted of a bunch of young people this year — my coworker Josh and his wife Jessica, Isaac and wife Crystal, Nykole and husband Allen, and Shanda and Nykole’s sister Tyfanee who was her plus one. Brian and I were definitely the oldest in our group, but not the oldest there. With the exception of the Sweethearts, most of the people who attend the Heart Ball are older. Let’s face it. Not many people in their 20s or 30s can afford the $300 ticket price ($500 per couple).
I’m not sure that Brian and I would even be able to go if it weren’t for the free tickets from work. Well, we probably could but I’d have to reallocate all my charitable contributions. If I dialed back my United Way and YMCA donations then we’d have the funds to go. LOL.
The free tickets to the Heart Ball are a nice perk, though. And one that I really appreciate because it allows me to not sacrifice any of my other charitable giving.
The Wichita Heart Ball is probably the fanciest fundraising event/gala that we attend. The decor this year was even better than last year. The food looked fantastic as usual, but Brian and I agreed that the food wasn’t as good as last year.
My steak wasn’t tough to eat but it was touch to cut with a regular knife. I think it’s because of the way they cut the meat. I don’t think it would have been as challenging had they provided everyone with steak knives. Brian’s main complaint was that his steak was too pink in the middle. He’s a well done kind of guy.
The flourless chocolate torte was delicious and I ate every bit of mine. Last year there were two dessert options — the chocolate torte and creme brûlée — but this year you only had once choice. I’m thinking maybe the creme brûlée wasn’t as popular last year and so they just decided to go with the safer choice.
Of course, if you didn’t quite get enough to eat, there’s always the chocolate fountain at the official after party — the Pulse Party is where everyone gets to cut loose to music provide by The Source.
Had to take a selfie at the Pulse Party.
We danced to a couple of songs and then had to rest our feet.
My feet were killing me because I had to wear my extra tall heels. I would have worn the heels that mom loaned me to wear with the dress that she also loaned me but the dress was too long. The only way to keep the hemline from sweeping the floor was to wear super tall shoes.
We took a few more selfies while we waited for the silent auction to close. We won a couple of baskets and had to wait to check out, which we couldn’t do until 10:45 pm.
I was exhausted by the end of the evening but we had a lot of fun. I hope we have the opportunity to attend again next year.
Despite the challenges we ran into trying to do a couples painting project together last Valentines we still decided to have another go at it this year. LOL.
We initially had a few couples interested but then everyone bailed at the last minute except for Holly and Meader.
When we first decided to do the couples painting thing this year, I was bummed that it wasn’t going to be a private event like last year. However, after everyone started bailing, I was relieved that it wasn’t a private event because we would have been on the hook for all of those painting fees. Another benefit of the event being open is that we got to meet some really cool people, who we never would have met otherwise. We also bumped into one of Brian’s former coworkers at T-Mobile, Levi.
This is the couple painting project that we were going for; unfortunately, ours didn’t turn out as successfully. Brian wouldn’t even let me take a picture of his final painting.
Mine started out a mess. Brian’s started out really well.
Meader’s and Holly’s paintings started well and ended up awesome.
I guess it works out well when you are creative and have a plan.
Here’s a picture of my final painting.
My painting actually looks better after I painted over everything. Brian didn’t like the way his turned out after he painted over it so there is no picture of his painting. I don’t think we will be putting these paintings on display. We will try this again next year. Hopefully with better results.
Jay and Becca hosted a super fun Super Bowl XLIX party last weekend. We wouldn’t have been able to attend were it not for our bowling league (we’ve been bowling in a league with my parents on Sundays for almost a year now) being canceled that night.
The funny thing is that we play through on most holidays but they actually canceled bowling on Super Bowl Sunday. I don’t care what people say. Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday in the US. They should just declare it as such. LOL.
We were all smiles because we knew our team was going to win.
They sure made it exciting, though.
Jenni joined us and had a lot of fun playing with the kids.
I came dressed appropriately for the event in my one and only Pats shirt and my most patriotic earrings (acquired a few years ago when we visited the East Coast and toured Sam Adams with the Dills).
Our friend Rune was like, “Are you really a Pats fan or are you just trying to be nice to Jay?” To which I replied, “I don’t know enough about football to have any real favorites, but I do like the Pats more than any other football team because their team colors coordinate with the colors of my other favorite team (Boston Red Sox and KU).” #trueconfessions
We had a great time. Thank you so much for hosting, Jay and Becca!
Yesterday Brian, Jenni, Eleanor, Nicole, and I bowled in a fundraising event for the YMCA Strong Community campaign. Angie and her husband Cory bowled with us. It was my first time meeting Angie and Cory but they seem really cool and fun. And, they’re really good bowlers too!
Here are some pictures from the bowl-a-thon yesterday.
Here’s Jenni and Nicole, goofing around.
Angie looked so cute in her orange tutu!
Angie with our boss lady Kristen, the Group Exercise Coordinator at Andover YMCA.
And, yes. This happened.
Brian and I had a great time. Don’t mind my greasy chin. The pizzas were really greasy yesterday but I couldn’t help myself. I ate a few slices. Who can resist AJ’s pizza?
If there’s one thing that Northrock Lanes has going for it, it’s that it’s got a pretty good sports bar on site. Most other bowling alleys just have okay food. AJ’s serves pizza that I don’t mind eating and that says a lot because I don’t like pizza.
Granted, it’s no Ziggy’s but the pizza is good and reasonably priced. Whenever I feel like bowling, I always think of Northrock first before any of the other bowling alleys because it’s just set up better all the way around.
The only other bowling alley that would be better would be the Alley but their prices are expensive. So if you want to bowl cheap and eat decent food, my recommendation will always be Northrock.
I don’t always beg people for money… but when I do, it’s usually for some kind of bowling charity fundraiser. LOL.
So what’s the cause this time? Well, it’s an important one that is close to my heart.
I’m bowling on Saturday, February 7, to support the YMCA’s Strong Community Campaign. So yes, I’m begging for donations and I’m not ashamed of it. I hope you consider making a donation to support the YMCA’s Strong Community Campaign because the Greater Wichita YMCA is the region’s largest provider for:
Summer Day Camp
Health & Wellness
After School Programs
When you give to the Y, you continue to strengthen our community and move everyone forward. Your gift makes a meaningful, enduring impact right in our own neighborhood.
Please help us build a Strong Community by supporting the Strong Community Campaign Bowl-A-Thon. Your support and generous donations are the reasons why we have the best YMCAs in the nation.
Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference. Thank you.
My coworkers take Thanksgiving very seriously. Our lounge area and break room were totally decked out last month for Harvest Feast.
Our coworkers who organized Harvest Feast really outdid themselves this year. They even got matching aprons. How cool is that?
We all chipped in $5 for the meats but Brian didn’t want me to show up to work empty handed so he made me the banana pudding dessert thing that we love so I would have something to bring to the potluck.
It was a huge hit. How could it not be? This thing is like crack. Anyway, if you’d like the recipe or if you’d like to see all the other variations we’ve made in the past go here.
We hosted Thanksgiving again this year so I decided that I probably ought to decorate. We found this beautiful wreath at the store that matched our Christmas tree on the main floor, which is natural and woodsy, so we had to get it. It looks great, don’t you think?
This is the Christmas tree in the basement.
We didn’t decorate too much but we put up enough decorations to be somewhat festive.
We like personalized things. Can you tell?
I liked these napkins and placemats not only because they’re personalized with our last name initial but mainly because they’re neutral and match the rest of our decor.
We brought out our wine glasses for mimosas so I finally had the opportunity to use my festive wine charms.
This was Molly’s first Thanksgiving back with us.
Molly and grandma kept each other company as we reheated the food that was carefully prepared by the Fresh Market.
We had a great time celebrating with family.
Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed at Thanksgiving.
We were wise this year and created a project plan for when things needed to go in the oven. It worked out perfect. Everything finished right on schedule.
The food was delicious and we had way more food than we needed. I’m thinking either we order less food or invite more people to our little Thanksgiving shindig next time.
Jenni’s birthday was the day before Thanksgiving so we celebrated with her.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Until next year!
It’s been a few years since we’ve attended a Lights on the Lake launch party. The last Lights on the Lake launch party we attended was at Abode back in 2011. The event has gotten so much bigger since then. Last year and this year it was held at Murfin Stables, an amazing venue.
They really upped the ante this year with the upgraded dress code (cocktail attire was recommended) and lavish decorations. Check out these photos.
The opulent table setting made me feel very fancy.
We were assigned to table 22, Brian’s favorite number.
Meddys catered the event.
Here’s what was on the menu. The hors d’oeuvres consisted of creamy tomato soup, vegetarian lentil soup, baked pita, hummus, and fresh vegetables.
There were people walking around with trays of hummus and soup until dinner.
Salads and desserts were already at the tables but dinner was served buffet style. The salad was a delicious Mediterranean salad with salmon. It was very good.
For dinner we had chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, rice, and roasted vegetables.
Savories provided dessert. We had a couple of options: brownie bottom cheesecake and cherry cheesecake. Yummy!
There was a silent auction, my favorite thing to check out and do at these events. I didn’t win any of the items I bid on this time, though.
There was also a live auction. That’s something that I generally don’t participate it because I don’t have as much money at my disposal as other event guests. Live auction items usually go for thousands of dollars.
At this event, however, there were a couple of things that went for just $900 so that was a pretty good deal. One of the most successful auction items was this black goldendoodle puppy that went for $3500.
She’s going to be one spoiled puppy!
There was also a wine pull and signature cocktails for sale for people like me who weren’t keen on the drink selections at the open bar. For $30 I got a signature drink with a commemorative champagne flute and $5 refills.
Brian and I got to play with the TapSnap photo booth.
We took a group photo of our table also.
Brian and I had such a great time. Brian will say he still prefers Brew Ha-Ha but, overall, Lights on the Lake is a really enjoyable fundraising event. It also benefits a great cause – Heartspring Pediatric Services. I highly encourage you all to support the organization and participate in the event next year.
Also, remember to check out Lights on the Lake this year. It’s one of the most amazing Christmas light displays in here in Wichita.
We had a great time at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Brew Ha-Ha fundraising event on Friday night. The event, which is our most favorite fundraising event every year, is always a great time but it was even more meaningful for me this year because I started my journey as a big sister volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters in over the summer.
We saw several of my coworkers and former coworkers. We also met friends from outside of work. We spent most of the evening hanging with the Shermans and the Washingtons, who also happen to be our neighbors. I know I’ve raved about our neighbors before. We really have the best neighbors. If you are looking to buy a house in Southeast Wichita, Sierra Hills is the place to be.
The food this year was provided by Freddy’s (always our first stop because the beer milkshakes are a highlight of the event for us), P.F. Chang’s, Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, Newport Grill, and Woodfire Grille. No Carrabba’s this year, which was a bummer because we always enjoy visiting with Joe. They donated to the silent auction though, so they weren’t completely absent from the event. My favorite food was the braised short ribs that Woodfire Grille served. It was delicious. I don’t really drink beer. I mostly like to go to sample all the delicious food that the vendors offer.
Brian was hilariously inebriated, but not embarrassingly so. Thank heavens. I would like us to be invited back next year. =P Jokes aside, we both had a wonderful time and are already counting the days until the next one.
Thank you to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me. Thank you for all the cards, presents, hugs, and birthday wishes. You all really know how to make a girl feel special!
On Tuesday, November 4, Wichitans have a chance to make a difference for our community by voting in favor of the one-cent sales tax to fund plans for water, transit, jobs and streets.
The proposed ballot question is as follows: Shall the City of Wichita, Kansas, be authorized, pursuant to K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., to impose a one percent (1.0%) city-wide retailers’ sales tax to be effective April 1, 2015, and which will terminate no later than April 1, 2020, with an amount not to exceed $250 million dollars of such tax applied to pay the costs for the purchase, development, maintenance and operation of a long-term water supply, with an amount not to exceed $80 million dollars of such tax applied for job development and creation, with an amount not to exceed $39.8 million dollars of such tax applied to support Wichita Transit operations, and with an amount not to exceed $27.8 million dollars of such tax applied for street maintenance and repairs?
- Please visit the City of Wichita web site for more information about the sales tax referendum and also listen to what City Manager Bob Layton has to say about this important initiative.
- Register to vote.
- Vote in advance by mail.
- Vote in advance in person. Look up dates and times here.
- Locate your default polling place here.
- VOTE YES!
Brian and I had the privilege of attending the Joyful Noise Twilight Concert at Camp Wood YMCA last night. There are few things in this world more breathtaking than the Flint Hills. It was the perfect setting for a concert. Here are some pictures.
Brian waiting for dinner to be served…
It was a beautiful day for an outdoor concert.
This one time at band camp…
The council ring is the perfect setting…
We scarfed up dinner quickly and went to the concert site to scope out a good spot.
Our vantage point.
The weather was perfect and the surrounding view is fantastic.
Have you ever seen a Flint Hills sunset?
Now you have.
Pictures don’t do it justice though.
Brian got some reading done as we waited for the concert to begin.
More people started showing up as dinner service concluded.
There’s nothing like an outdoor concert in one of the most beautiful settings.
Fiddler Darol Anger, singer/songwrite Emy Phelps, cellist Eugene Friesen, mandolin player Kenny White, and concert master John Harrison were just a few of the amazing musicians who performed during the concert.
Check out our Facebook page for some of the videos. I highly recommend attending this event next year if you can because it’s simply amazing.