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Pictures from Youth Entrepreneurs’ Biz Bang 2018 Event

Posted on September 9, 2018 by under Events.    

Brian and I had the privilege of attending Youth Entrepreneurs’ Biz Bang 2018 last month. With the exception of the Home for Doc Gala, this is probably the most lavish event that we’d ever attended.

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Here’s a picture of me and my friend/coworker Yuvina.

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As you can tell, I’m the only woman in costume. Yikes!

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I misunderstood the invitation and thought they wanted guests to show up in superhero-themed attire. Thus, the Wonder Woman shirt and cape.

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Unfortunately, no one else interpreted the memo as I did. All the women were in fancy dresses. “Summer chic” was the suggested attire for if your “cape was at the cleaners.” Well, mine was clean so I decided to wear it. LOL.

I saw a couple of guys with Superman shirts under their dress shirts, as Brian had done, but none of the other women, with the exception of the volunteers, had superhero outfits on. I felt quite silly (think Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, but with me as Wonder Woman at a fancy gala instead of a Playboy Bunny at a frat party) but didn’t let that stop me from having a great time.

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These lavender lemonade vodka drinks made my Xclusive Events‘ Crystal McDonald helped me to loosen up and not focus so much on the misunderstanding about the dress code. They were so delicious and didn’t taste alcoholic at all.

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Here’s Crystal, the woman behind the delicious concoction.

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Here’s a group selfie we took with Yuvina and her brother Luis early in the evening.

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Another one with Mike Carroll from Splurge magazine.

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Charles Koch had the same idea as Brian. He also wore a Superman shirt under his shirt. At least Brian was in good company with his choice of attire.

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Here are a couple of selfies of me and Brian at the event.

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Anyway, we had super awesome time despite my feelings of being out of place. Not just because of my outfit but also because we were surround by people who had more money than we could ever hope to make in our lifetimes. Seriously. Nothing in the live auction went for less than $25K. It was ridiculous — but also awesome in that the event was hugely successful and they raised a lot of money for Youth Entrepreneurs, which is a really great program. I highly recommend it to everyone. I wish they were available at my school when I was in high school.

That’s all for now. More stories and pictures next time. GNG.

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Our Anniversary Weekend

Posted on September 8, 2018 by under Date Ideas, Relationship.    

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Brian and I started our anniversary celebration this year with manis and pedis at our favorite local salon, Nails and Beyond.

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I picked this one for my toenails because I liked the color. I took a picture because I thought the name was clever.

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It’s sparkly but still kind of neutral, which is my style. I don’t really get into crazy nail polish colors or designs. I keep it pretty basic most of the time.

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This is Brian getting an arm massage from Vanessa.

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Here’s the finished product. I rarely (if at all) get my fingernails painted. We both usually as for the “buff shiny” treatment. It’s $5 more but the natural shine actually lasts a few weeks and you don’t have to worry about yucky, chipped nail polish.

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We ended up going to Carrabba’s for dinner after. We were going to just eat at Taco Bell because I had this whole post planned about how you really don’t have to spend a lot of money or do anything fancy for anniversaries. I was trying to make the point that it doesn’t really matter where we are as long as we’re together. Anyway, I got derailed by a “happy hour all day” email from Carrabba’s. Of course, I would rather eat the delicious food at Carrabba’s any day. But the point is, if all we had money for was Taco Bell, that would be just fine with me too.

Love is all we need.

The next night Brian took me to a surprise anniversary dinner at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse. I figured it out as we were driving there. He said he wanted to go somewhere we’d never been before. I’d had lunch at Siena a few times before but never dinner. I guess he forgot that I’d been there. I told him dinner is different. This was my first dinner experience there. I was really proud of Brian for going out of his comfort zone.

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We started with the bruschetta. It was delicious. I would totally go back just for this. The salmon had the perfect smokiness. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Anyway, here’s a better picture.

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We also both got Caesar salads.

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Guess which one of us had the anchovy and which one didn’t.

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Brian got the fettuccine bolognese. It doesn’t look like much but it was amazing! Next time I’m here, I’m totally getting it.

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I had the grilled salmon, which you can’t really see too well in this photo. It was also very good but I really liked what Brian had.

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We finished with a tiramisu, which they serve in a cute little mason jar and top with an even cuter mini macaron.

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It looks even cuter next to Brian.

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The one thing I found out that night that I didn’t know before is, much like the Ambassador Hotel in Kansas City, this Ambassador Hotel also offers complimentary parking and shuttle service to the shows when you dine with them. I told Brian I would make a mental note for next year. Also, posting it here on the blog in case I forget.

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Traditionally, we always take anniversary selfies.

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The next day, we continued the celebration by watching the Music Theatre Wichita production of the Little Mermaid.

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MTW had several great shows this year but this was the first one that we’d been able to attend all season. Brian really wanted to see Pippin but we were in Orlando that weekend. Next year Chicago falls during ZINCON, which I’m a tad distraught about. I really want to see Chicago but I don’t want to miss ZINCON either. It’s quite a tough decision. I guess it will all depend if we end up with season passes.

Anyway, that’s pretty much our anniversary celebration in a nutshell. It’s quite low-key just like us. Happy 16th wedding anniversary to the two of us. Until next time!

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2018 Wichita Corporate Challenge

Posted on September 7, 2018 by under Things to Do.    

I usually get super excited about the Wichita Corporate Challenge because it’s the closest that I’m ever going to get to competing in an Olympics type of event. Apparently, I was the only one super excited about it. LOL.

It was like we didn’t even try. And, deservedly, we didn’t place.

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I’m not sure how they decided who would compete this year. It seemed very random to me. For instance, they didn’t have Isaac play in the ping pong event. That would have been a guaranteed gold for us.

Another thing I thought was weird was me being assigned to Cornhole. I normally compete in the bowling event. I have to admit, I was very confused about this at first. I didn’t understand why I got assigned to an even that I’d never ever competed in before, other than I think they really didn’t have any other volunteers for it. Who knows? The weird thing is that even though I was competing in an event that I had absolutely no experience in, we actually managed to take third.

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In the years I’ve been participating in the Wichita Corporate Challenge I had never earned a medal before. Go figure it’s an event that I absolutely have no training in. LOL. I was actually a little bit frustrated in the beginning because I knew I sucked at Cornhole. I thought there were others much better at Cornhole that should have represented our company and perhaps would have increased our chance of winning. See, I’m a team player. As much as I want to participate in events and play, if I know someone is better then I’m not going to take try and take their spot because I want our team to win.

Like last year for instance, I really, really, really wanted to compete in the ping pong event but I knew that we’d have a better shot with Amy so I was fine with not playing. And it was totally worth it because I got to watch her and Isaac win gold. They obliterated the field.

I was thinking I probably could have served the team better in the bowling event as opposed to Cornhole but I guess things happen for a reason. I never would have medaled in bowling. Everyone else in that event is amazing!

At least with Cornhole luck is much more of a factor. And, lucky for us, she was on our side that day.

* P.S. I realize that this post is a month overdue (the Wichita Corporate Challenge happened last month). I’m still trying to get caught up.

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New Zumba Job

Posted on August 31, 2018 by under Things to Do, Zumba.    

I got a new part-time job (jobby?) teaching Zumba for a new gym in town, VASA Fitness. They opened very recently. Their first week was the week that I got back from #ZINCON. I actually taught the Monday that we arrived home.

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It was crazy but I got through it. And look, we are all still smiling.

Brian didn’t want me to get another Zumba job at first because he didn’t think my schedule could handle it. He was like, “Please don’t try to get a job there just so you can get a free membership. We will pay for a membership if you really want to join.” I was not to be restrained, however. I applied, interviewed, and was hired.

I think I may have been the very first instructor to teach in that beautiful studio.

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The new gym is located in the old Albertson’s at Harry and Georgetown (between Oliver and Hillside on Harry). There’s a golf course and a Big Lots over there.

It’s pretty amazing. The gym is beautiful and has everything you could possibly need. The group exercise studio is huge and can comfortably accommodate 70-80 people. It also has a stage and a couple of huge, industrial fans. The lighting in the studio (and throughout the facility) is absolutely perfect.

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Another amenity Brian and I both like is the fitness cinema. It reminds me of the one at Onelife but actually bigger. You can ride a bike, walk/run on the treadmill, or get on an elliptical while watching a movie. They also have a couple of racquetball courts and a lap pool. But the best part is the hydromassage.

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I think, once Brian tried the hydromassage for the first time, he pretty much got offer the fact that he didn’t want me to take on another Zumba job. LOL.

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In addition to everything else, they also have a gym where you can play basketball and pickleball. I haven’t tried to play pickleball there yet but I’m hoping to get a one on one pickleball match against Brian sometime.

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The monthly membership fees are quite reasonable too. I think I would have seriously considered joining even if I didn’t work there.

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Here’s a picture from my second week of teaching there. That day was a mess. I couldn’t get my phone to work so, after messing with it for some time, we ended up using Brian’s phone which didn’t have all of my songs in it. We started late and, even then, barely had enough songs to dance to.

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Class is getting better, though. Last week some of my friends from Andover YMCA came to visit since the floors in our studios in Andover were being refinished. And then Amanda and Charis stayed after to show me a new dance.

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I’m really enjoying teaching Zumba at VASA so far. Their philosophy of “Fun Happy Fitness” is consistent with my own. Our mantra is to help people find happiness through physical and emotional health. Our goal is to UPLIFT everyone through fun and happy fitness. UPLIFT is an acronym that stands for Unity, Passion, Love, Integrity, Fun, and Trust. How can you not like an organization that values these things? I think it’s a great fit and was a no-brainer for me. Plus, Kass Martin also teaches at a VASA in Utah so I knew I was in good company. LOL.

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I’m super excited for this weekend because we’re basically doing an open house. Everyone who wears red, white, and/or blue can take classes for free. I’m only teaching on Monday night, though. I’ll be at the Andover YMCA per usual on Saturday and Sunday. Not sure when another opportunity like this will come up so, if you’re not currently a member and would like to check out VASA, this is your chance. I hope to see you on Monday night!

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#ZINCON – The Final, Final Installment

Posted on August 31, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Travel, Zumba.    

I thought I was done posting about #ZINCON but I keep finding more pictures. LOL. I’m going to try to wrap things up in this post. After all, it’s almost September and it’s time to move on.

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Brian and I tried to get some pool time in on Sunday but it was sweltering. The resort pool would have been better because it offers more shade but it was packed so Brian and I went to the terrace pool. There is no shade and it was hot and it was also packed. The look on my face pretty much says it all. We were miserable.

I think we only stayed for an hour (at most) before calling it quits. Back to the room we went to cool off. Speaking of our room, this is pretty much what my side of the bed looked like the entire time.

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After showering and cleaning up, we decided to walk over to the Pub (located at Pointe Orlando). There are lots of places to eat but this is Brian’s absolute favorite.

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He actually didn’t walk over there while I was in my sessions this year. I’m glad he decided to share his annual Pub experience with me.

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Here’s what the interior looks like. Not sure if I have posted pics of the inside before or just food. Okay, I guess there are interior pics from back in 2013 when Brian discovered the place the first time. Follow the link to see Brian’s old blog post.

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In the meantime, here are some circa 2018 pics…

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We ran into Jane and her friend from Michigan, Lisa. I found it amusing that we started the trip with Jane (when we met her in line at the Kansas City airport) and ended the trip with her also. I think we were on the same flight home.

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Here’s Brian posing with his favorite beer at the Pub.

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Yes, we are that nerdy couple that likes to wear matching shirts. We specially love our Wichita Wicked Brew Tour shirts.

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I took a picture of this page because I thought it was helpful.

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I’d eaten at the Pub a few times but this was the first time I’d tried the fish and chips. Clearly, I’d been missing out. This was the best fish and chips I’d ever eaten. Although, I couldn’t decide if I was just hungry for real food and that’s why this tasted so delicious. I think it was really good, though. I may have to pop in to the Pub when we first arrive next time so that I can make a real, untainted assessment.

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As per usual, Brian got the ham and cheese on a pretzel roll. It is his absolute favorite thing to get there.

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Pointe Orlando is not that far from our hotel. We usually just walk over and walk back. You can see our hotel in this picture.

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Once at the hotel, we decided to stop at B-Line for dessert. Brian had a chocolate milkshake. I had the most delicious chocolate cake and cheesecake combo.

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Then we walked off the calories from dinner and dessert by doing some exploring.

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We’d been here several times since 2013 (I even came for a work conference one year) but I’d never been this way before.

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This was my first time seeing this part of the convention center.

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There are a few more pics on Flickr. Just click on one of the photos above to check them all out. We had a very nice walk. Then it was time to go back to the hotel.

We skipped the after party at Cuba Libre this time because it was rough coming home last year. This year we were flying into Kansas City and still had a three-hour drive back. We chose to go to bed at a decent time instead of staying out late partying on our final night.

Although last year, we were also responsible. We went to the after party but didn’t stay out too late in anticipation of our early flight home.

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Here’s Brian completing the hotel checkout on the TV as we were leaving the next day. And that’s it. This pretty much wraps up our #ZINCON 2018 adventure. I hope you enjoyed reading the trip recap as much as I did recalling it.

Until next year!

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