Friday, May 13, 2016

Towne West Square is Kicking-Off the KidX Club Event with 'X' Marks the Spot!

Towne West Square, Wichita’s family friendly mall to shop and dine, will kick-off its new KidX Club program with its first event “X Marks the Spot” on Saturday, May 21 from 1 – 3 p.m. This exciting children’s event to be held in North Dillard’s Court is one of many to be held throughout the year.

“X Marks the Spot” will challenge attendees with a mall-wide treasure hunt to search for X’s hidden around Towne West Square. The goal is to gather letters and figure out a secret word to redeem a special prize. There will also be live entertainment, face painting and balloon art.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

HOMEMADE Hummus in 3 Easy Steps (#HummusMadeEasy)

A note to my readers: I was paid to try to make this amazing hummus and share it with all of you.  This in no way swayed my opinion on this product.  I was not otherwise compensated and I truly, truly love this new product!

Hummus has always been the life of any party I’ve ever thrown.  So when my son had his First Communion last weekend and we were having a BBQ (reception) afterwards, I knew that I wanted some hummus that our guests could snack on before the Burgers and Hot Dogs.  But I wanted to ‘wow’ our guests -- so I didn’t want just any ol’ store bought hummus, I wanted homemade.  And I found just that!

Next to the Bush’s canned beans and chickpeas you will now find a NEW product called Bush’s Hummus Made Easy.  I found a pouch of Bush’s Hummus Made Easy at my local Wal-Mart on the top shelf.

And now, after making and serving this Hummus, it’s the only kind I’ll buy!

What makes Bush’s Hummus Made Easy the best Hummus?  It’s just that … THE BEST hummus I’ve ever had!  And I’ve eaten my weight in hummus many, many times {and while a girl never discloses her weight, let’s just say that’s a LOT of garbanzo beans}.

This hummus has been hands-down my favorite snack or appetizer to whip up when I have last-minute company.  It’s the perfect blend of simple ingredients like tahini, olive oil and spices.  And I’ve found with Bush’s Hummus Made Easy, it’s really easy to experiment with and make them yours by adding personal touches like jalapenos, roasted red peppers, blue cheese, or even sour cream!

Making hummus at home is not only fresher and healthier, but finding the time and ingredients can be difficult.  With Bush’s Hummus Made Easy, making homemade hummus is as easy as 1-2-3.  Literally!
1.  Drain and rinse beans. Pour into food processor.

2.  Open pouch. Pour into food processor.  It won't look very pretty...

3.  Blend to desired consistency.  {We actually left a few chunks of Garbanzo beans whole}

And then ENJOY!  That’s all that's to it for amazing, creamy, delicious hummus!

Next time you’re in Wal-Mart, grab a pouch of Bush’s Hummus Made Easy and Bush’s Brothers’ beans and just keep them both in your pantry.  That way you’ll always have something ready to whip up that is healthy AND yummus, errr, I mean scrumptious the next time you have guests stopping by.
They’ll never believe it only took you 10 minutes and 3 easy steps to make this homemade hummus.  That is, IF you want to tell them how easy it was :::wink wink:::

Not Pictured:  Classic Version.  Because, well, we ate it before I could take pictures.

Now, for a limited time, you can save $1.00 with this coupon!


BUSH'S is all about family, friends that feel like family, and a certain Secret Family Recipe. When you enjoy our beans (doesn't matter if they're Baked Beans, black beans, pinto beans, great northern get the picture), you can trust that they're the very best. Because we wouldn't serve your family anything less. Since we got our start more than 100 years ago in Chestnut Hill, Tenn., BUSH'S® has always maintained that quality is the best policy. We pursue excellence and exceptional taste in our beans, sauces and everything we do. That's why, from mouthwatering Baked Beans to satisfying bean recipes, you're cooking up the best with BUSH'S BEST.

Disclosure:  I’d like to thank @KendalKingGroup, #SoapboxInfluence, The Women Bloggers, Bush Brothers’ Beans and #HummusMadeEasy for including me in this new product launch.  I am a customer for life now!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bountiful Baskets - Bringing Fresh Produce to your Hometown!

Photo Credit: Dylan Brown / IR

Just because Rose Hill, Kansas is left without a grocery store doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to get groceries anymore - or at least fresh vegetables at a low cost!  And everybody that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for a good deal.  Especially when it comes to food --- and --- oh my goodness am I stoked about my latest {LOCAL} discovery!

Thanks to local volunteers, Rose Hill now has a healthy alternative when shopping for fresh, healthy produce...
Bountiful Baskets.

Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op (BBFC), which distributes produce purchased from a small producer, has started a brand new pick-up site in Rose Hill in the Rose Hill Rec Center.

Previously, the closest pick-up sites were in Derby, Andover and Wichita.

Volunteers for BB said a lot of people in the Rose Hill area were interested based on small town talk and social media touts. It only took a few weeks to find a location and submit paperwork to get the whole process going.

The volunteer-based group offers $15 baskets with half fruits, half veggies {without an advance list of what will be included}.  One example of the contents includes: a pineapple, a watermelon, a cantaloupe, a couple cucumbers, nine rainbow carrots, bunches of green onions, a jicama fruit, six apples, six nectarines, four bok choy, and baby lettuce.  To order a basket, you must first sign up to become a member of the co-op.  There’s a one-time fee of $3.00, which pays for a laundry basket {that stays at the pickup location}.

Photo Credit:  Bountiful Baskets

Organic produce is $10 more per basket.  Add-ons are available and can be selected in advance.  Examples of add-ons were 25lb boxes of nectarines or 8 lbs. of strawberries, banana bread, Italian herbs and veggies, and SO much more!  There are also tortilla or bread add-ons with 9 grain, honey wheat, banana, or sourdough varieties.  A case of five loaves of bread runs about $10-12.

The orders or contributions are placed online every two weeks between Monday at noon and Tuesday evening, on a first-come first-served basis.  Pickup is the following Saturday at 10:30am and you have 20 minutes to pick up your basket at the designated area.

Volunteers help unload the truck and check inventory sheets. Bountiful Baskets are always looking for volunteers, who are required to have contributed towards that week's baskets and must be over 13-years-old.

The produce is then distributed into the baskets.  When people come to pick up their order, they need their confirmation number, then they are given a basket number, which changes each time. People bring a container for carrying their produce home, leaving the basket to be used again.  If, for any reason, there are baskets left over, the food will be generously donated to the local fire department.

I took advantage of this delicious deal for the first time this week and fully plan to continue doing so!  The variety in foods from week to week forces myself {and my family} to expand our repertoire and eat healthier as well!

Thanks, Rose Hill volunteers … for giving us ANOTHER reason to love our awesome small town!

For more information, visit the Bountiful Baskets website and sign up for a location near you!

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Friday, April 1, 2016

WIN TICKETS to LEGO KidsFest in Kansas City, MO!

At the beginning of this month I told you about LEGO® KidsFest making its way to Kansas City, MO May 13th - 15th.

Welllll, I’m just so excited about this event that I’ve decided to GIVE AWAY TWO tickets to ONE of my followers because I love you all so much - and LEGO® as well!

The tickets will be good for the opening night session on Friday, May 13, 2016 (4-8:30pm) – which is the event you’ll find ME Periscoping and Facebooking LIVE from.

I encourage you to LIKE and Follow LEGO® KidsFest on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for all the latest ticketing updates as this event has been selling out in prior cities.

RULES:  Must be 18 to enter –1 entry per day allowed – random drawing by USFG!

Winner will be randomly chosen by USFG on Thu, Apr 14 and announced on my Blog as well as notified via email (so make sure you leave that info)! 


Remember:  The event can (and has in other cities) sell out in all promotions and I strongly urge you to buy tickets in advance online to avoid missing this AWESOME event! 


PS:  I’m working on finding out if they’ll have the new Series 1 Disney LEGO® minifigs on display and/or for sale at this event as well.  I haven’t heard back from LEGO as of yet.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

2016 City-Wide Garage Sales in South-Central Kansas

We all love ‘em.  We all want to know when and where they are.  And now I have it.  Your 2016 list of City-Wide Garage Sales for the South Central Kansas area.
Feel free to share this list! 

And if I left one off the list, PLEASE let me know by sending me a quick email to:

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Why Should You Visit the Tallgrass National Preserve in Kansas?

Photo Credit:  Flickr (Miguel Vieira}
"A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with
full hands;

How could I answer the child? I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of
hopeful green-stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord. - Walt Whitman 

How DOES one describe something that is nothing?  Because that’s exactly what the Tallgrass Prairie National Reserve is just outside the town of Strong City, Kansas.  It's open skies, open fields, never-ending horizons, and hills of nothing.  But that nothing is something that only God could’ve created.  It’s not anything a writer or author can paint and portray.  It’s wide-open space of beautiful wildflowers, vista and wildlife.  The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is the only unit in the National Park Service dedicated to preserving a rare relic of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.  So those fields of ‘nothing’ – are definitely something.

When you’re standing in the middle of nearly 11,000 acres of prairie tallgrass in Kansas, all you can hear are the birds and the wind.  It brings a sense of calmness and peacefulness that is indescribable.  Your mind can’t help but think back to when travelers and settlers once crossed the very prairie land you’re standing on by ox and wagons so many many years ago.

Prairies began appearing in the mid-continent from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago and have developed into one of the most complicated and diverse ecosystems in the world, surpassed only by the rainforest of Brazil.  Tallgrass prairie once covered approximately 170 million acres of North America.  It was the continent's largest continuous ecosystem supporting an enormous quantity of plants and animals.  Some of the grasses include Big Bluestem, Indian Grass, and Switch Grass and they can grow to heights of eight feet in the fall, depending on moisture and other factors.

Sadly, over time, the vast majority of the prairie was developed and plowed under.  Today, less than 4% remains, mostly here in the Flint Hills of Kansas.  This makes it one of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems in the world.

On November 12, 1996, legislation created the 10,894 acre Tallgrass National Prairie Preserve to protect a sample of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

With help from the NPS, the natural prairie cycle of weather, wildfires and animal grazing has sustained the tallgrass prairie and its diverse plant and animal species ever since.

Now you can find over 500 species of plants, nearly 150 species of birds, 39 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 31 species of mammals. Much of the prairie vegetation and wildlife is far too tiny to be seen from a passing car. For those who take the time to stop and look closer, a delicate world of magnificence and natural wonder is waiting.

Visitors can enjoy historic house tours of an 1880s limestone mansion, a massive three story limestone barn, Lower Fox Creek {one-room} schoolhouse, and nature trails that appeal to any age – some of which pass you up close and personal with bison. Cell phone tours of the historic buildings and prairie are available as well.  Starting late April, guided bus tours into the prairie are available daily. Bus tours are wheelchair accessible.

New exhibits in the visitor center and Junior Ranger activities are available on site or may also be downloaded via the website. Completion of five activities are required to earn a Junior Ranger badge. Children may complete a Leave No Trace Scavenger Hunt to obtain a patch. Both activities are available in Spanish.  Visit the website for hours and location.

Just how the prairie speaks to you depends on you.  Some may find it literally, fields of nothing.  But most will find the beauty and the hopefulness of what was, and what is.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

LEGO KidsFest is coming to Kansas City!

LEGO KidsFest® is coming to Kansas City, MO, May 13–15!

LEGO KidsFest is an official LEGO Event and is supported and authorized by The LEGO Company.

For the very first time since the tour began in 2009, LEGO will be making at stop in Kansas City, MO bringing all of the creative hands-on, minds-on fun of LEGO building and experiences together in this three acre activity - and entertainment - packed family event.
LEGO KidsFest is for children of all ages and builders of all skills and interests.

Among the many LEGO attractions, families will find: