It’s the little things. 

This weekend was glorious.

It marked the end of the stagnancy of winter and brought with it sunshine, and much needed warm weather.

I celebrated by not wearing 15 layers.

I also spent a good amount of time outside doing various things and driving around the lake with my windows down blaring music. It was a pretty simple weekend but it was absolutely perfect.


Lake Driving

Exploring new places with old friends.

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Westport Café & Bar

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Get out and enjoy the little things that come with the imminent arrival of spring!

Spotlight Feature: My Mom

Moms are kind of magical.

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They have this uncanny ability to be there for you at the most crucial times, offer the best advice (whether or not you choose to listen to it, is up to you), and they have this infuriating knack for always being right.

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My mom is all of these things and so much more. She is my champion, my number one fan and always supports me no matter what I endeavor to do. She brings so much joy into my life and lights up the world within which she operates. She is both my friend and my confidant, she keeps all my secrets and cheers me on. She has been here for me through many ups and downs and her strength never falters. She is a grand optimist and taught me to always look for the silver lining (sunshine) in the world.

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She has also known hardships. She has spent much of her adult life dealing with severe health issues and last year, had the added complication of battling TWO separate cancers on top of everything else. The hand she was dealt has not been easy. It’s hard to see someone you love so dearly, someone so completely selfless, deal with debilitating pain every minute of every day. Yet she soldiers on. Her smile never wavers, her head stays held high, she walks with confidence, and her chipper attitude is contagious- even on her worst days.

I hope one day to have even half of the optimism and joy for life she has.

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(Birthday lunch on The Plaza)

This past week we had the immense pleasure of bringing in her birthday with her. This was a milestone birthday, and a day we didn’t know if we would see this time last year when she was receiving her cancer diagnosis.

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(mushroom lasagna with truffle oil at my new favorite restaurant Gram & Dun)

This year has been full of ups and downs and has shown me just how precious time with your loved ones-especially your mom- actually is.

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(there was a suprise mini-snow storm, it didn’t photograph well, but we enjoyed it immensely! it seems like it always snows on her bday-just more of her “momma magic” I guess…she then proceeded to have an impromptu photo shoot with me after lunch-always the encourager that one)

Yesterday she had her one year scans to detect if the cancer she so recently beat is still eradicated from her body; it was a day of fear, but also a day to remind us of her strength and eternal optimism. So I encourage you today to take stock of the blessings you currently have. Look at the loved ones in your life who are your support system. Appreciate every second you have with them as life can be hard and cruel sometimes. Remember to look for the sunshine and know the value of the things that truly matter in life. Keep the sunshine in your eyes.

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Update: as if she could be anymore wonderful, I got home tonight to find this waiting for me from, you guessed it…



My mom! 

Seriously love this lady more than words could ever convey.

Planning the Trip

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I’ve been planning this trip for a while as a graduation present to myself, and it seems like it’s finally coming to fruition!

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It’s been incredibly exciting outlining the trip and putting together an itinerary, but also extremely headache inducing!

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(Current mood)

Either way this trip is finally happening!
My sister and I will be backing through Europe for 2-3 weeks in June, starting in London and making our way though France and down Italy! I think the hardest part is going to be narrowing down the list of places to see as I feel it could be endless!

I’d love to hear any travel advice you guys have as this will be out first trip overseas!

Also thanks to The Savvy Backpacker for your awesome website that makes planning so easy, and to my friend Megan for the awesome travel journal!

Snowed In

So it snowed here in Kansas City last night.

Not too much, but enough to cause me to be sufficiently trapped in my neighborhood and thus forced to stay bundled up inside all day-definitely not complaining though!

It was a perfect excuse to spend some much needed quality time with my sister!

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(shopping at the Plaza at Christmas)

Speaking of my sister, let me tell you a bit about her.

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(at the salon Christmas Party)

First of all she is my person. She’s the constant in my life who never wavers and is always loyal. I can’t imagine a better friend, so it’s kind of crazy that we ended up being sisters.

She’s the most kind, sweet, thoughtful & hilarious person who always is supportive, yet never hesitant to call me on my crap. Best of all she goes along with my crazy antics and inspires me to be a better person everyday.

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I’m lucky enough to have had her as my best friend almost my entire life (I’m older), and I hope all of you have a person who you can count on no matter what.

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(shopping shenanigans)

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(detective work)

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(full cat mode)

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(celebrating her college acceptance)

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(campus tour after Kayla got accepted)

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(animal versions of ourselves-guess which one I am?)

You get the point.

Normally I’d spend the snow day playing in the snow and building snowmen-or snowcats in my case (complete with snow mouse)…

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but instead we decided to make pasta and have a Harry Potter marathon-something I’d always recommend, snow day or not.

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Here’s to spontaneous Mondays!