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!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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:

Friday, December 4, 2015

2015 Holiday Happenings in Kansas

Christmas in Kansas is a fantastic time of year.  It’s all about family, friends and memories.  Here is a list of just SOME of the Holiday Happenings in Kansas.

Which one is your favorite that didn’t make the list?  Let me know in the comments below and I’ll make sure to add it to next year’s list! 

Happy Holidays!  Or as I’d rather say it….  Merry Christmas!! 

Christmas City of the High Plains
November 28-January 4
Wakeeney, KS
Since 1950, WaKeeney has been known as "the Christmas City of the High Plains". This holiday wonderland along the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway features a 35-ft tree of fresh pine greenery located in the center of downtown. The 4-sq block area around the tree is decorated with more fresh greenery and garlands, handcrafted ornaments, and thousands of lights. It is considered the largest Christmas display between Kansas City & Denver.

December 12
Lawrence, KS
Amazing gifts, foods, crafts and more in time for the holidays. Held indoors at the Lawrence Holiday Inn, 200 McDonald Drive from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Gorgeous poinsettias, greenery, gift baskets, handcrafted items, special lavender products, fresh produce, foods and more! You name it, dream it, wish it, and it'll probably be there! 

December 4-12
Topeka, KS
Take pleasure in the charm of the beautifully decorated Mansion at holiday time at Old Prairie Town. Enjoy an elegant and delicious candlelight dinner.  You’ll listen to live music throughout the evening. Enjoy hot cider and cookies by the fire in the cabin and hot fudge sundaes in the Potwin Drug Store. Enjoy a variety of entertainment and activities in each of the vintage buildings. 

December 5
Newton, KS
The Five Places of Christmas will highlight the holiday at multiple locations in Newton and North Newton from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. All five attractions will offer free admission during the one-day event. Participating organizations are the Warkentin House, Harvey County Historical Museum and Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton and Kauffman Museum and the Bethel College Women's Association in North Newton. The Bethel women's group will be set up in the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the college's campus.

December 13
Leavenworth, KS
An annual Leavenworth Christmas tradition. Tour vintage homes in Leavenworth, the "First City of Kansas". 

December 18-19
Junction City, KS
The 1st Infantry Division Band will captivate you, performing a variety of Christmas music. A holiday concert full of jolly classics and the traditional sounds of the Christmas season. All seats are Free, however tickets must be reserved in advance. 

December 04, 2015 - December 19, 2015
Wichita, KS
"Dickens Of A Christmas" takes place December 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19, 6:00-9:00 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate with festive music, dancing and priceless family moments. This year's Christmas event will be an entirely new experience for visitors of all ages as Charles Dickens' beloved story "A Christmas Carol" comes to life. Scenes from the holiday classic will be re-created throughout the grounds. ?Is that Scrooge inside Meat Market buying a Christmas goose? ?Did you happen to see Bob Cratchit inside the First Arkansas Valley Bank working on the books? To get your answers, you and your family will have to attend "Dickens of a Christmas." We promise to introduce you to the Ghost of Christmas Past as well! Adding to the Dickens-inspired entertainment, will be a few familiar Christmas activities and traditions: ?Santa Claus in Santa's Workshop (aka Heller Cabin) ?Christmas carolers strolling the streets ?Christmas crafts and activities for kids ?Cookies, cocoa, and unique Christmas gifts for sale and more!

December 12, 2015
Rose Hill, KS
Join your family, your friends, your neighbors for this year’s Rose Hill Hometown Christmas.  It’s bigger and better than ever before and fun for all ages! 

January 31
Manhattan, KS
Join in the state's best New Year's Eve celebration as Miss Kansas 2013, Theresa Vail, helps all of Aggieville and Manhattan count down the end of 2015 and rings in 2016.


Looking for more Holiday events?
Find holiday events in your neck of the woods. 


 Disclaimer: Media Release brought to you by:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, July 20, 2015

Possessions of the World's 1st Daredevil is Coming to Kansas!

“Kids come up to me all the time and say, 'Once I was going through a really bad time, and I saw you crash and get up, and it inspired me.'” – Evel Knievel

If you haven’t heard of Evil Knievel, I’d ask what rock you’ve been living under!

Evel Knievel was an American daredevil who became an icon in the 1970s for his incredible motorcycle stunts.  In his career, he attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps between 1965 and 1980; and, in 1974, a canyon jump across Snake River Canyon (which failed) in the Skycycle X-2, a steam-powered rocket.  He suffered more than 433 bone fractures in his career, thereby earning an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of "most bones broken in a lifetime" {Wikipedia}

In early summer 2016, a traveling exhibit of the possessions of the world’s first daredevil will make its final landing in Topeka, Kan.  How exciting is THAT for the Sunflower State?!