Kansas City, Here I Come – Valentine’s Day Trip 2016

Hello friends!

I wanted to share a little bit about the holiday weekend trip that my husband and I recently took to Kansas City, Missouri as our way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. We had so much fun re-exploring a city we already know and love, and just spending some quality, relaxing time together. We kept saying how it was one of the first trips we’ve taken where we didn’t feel rushed to squeeze every activity available into 48 hours.

If you’ve ever been to Kansas City before, you know that it has something to offer for everyone. The food is amazing, the shopping is amazing, the culture is amazing, and there are always special events going on. Growing up as a competitive dancer, Kansas City was typically where our studio traveled to for a convention/competition each year. This never left much time for exploring the city, but it was always a favorite destination of mine. KC remained a go-to for stay-cations and weekend getaways, one of which led to meeting my (eventual) husband. This city will always hold a special place in my heart for this reason and so many others.

Anyways, back to our trip! While I could never even begin to give a full run down of all the places you need to visit on your next trip to KC, I’ll do my best! Even during the almost 2 years that I lived in Kansas City, we didn’t come close to checking everything out. Plenty of time for that in the future ūüôā

Friday, February 12:

My husband, who had the day off, picked me up from work around 4:30, and thanks to packing the night before, we were able to get on the road right away. We grabbed a quick dinner near Camdenton, Missouri, a small town on the banks of the Lake of the Ozarks. This is a beautiful area to drive through (in daylight), but I’ll warn you that the ever-winding hills can lead to a bit of an upset stomach if you’re not a fan of rollercoaster drives. My husband graciously agreed to make the whole 4-hour drive himself, since he knows I’m not big on driving through this area in the dark. Too many deer who don’t check before crossing the road.

We arrived at our hotel in the Briarcliff community, an area north of downtown Kansas City that has an upscale feel, around 9. After checking-in and getting freshened up, we made the quick drive down the road to one of my husband’s favorite hangouts: Argosy Casino. We used to love going to a couple of the casinos that Kansas City has to offer for the best people-watching, and they are a¬†great place to catch a Royals game! We called it an early night so that we could be well rested for a full day of exploring the next day.

Saturday February 13:

Sleeping in is something we do not get to do. That being said, sleeping until 7:30 Saturday morning felt like a blessing! We finally got up, and got ready for a packed, but relaxed(!), day. We started out with breakfast at a highly recommended spot on the southern edge of the Country Club Plaza area: Eggtc. The place was¬†packed when we arrived, but I’m so glad we stuck out the wait. We were actually seated in the neighboring restaurant owned by the same person as Eggtc, so we didn’t have to feel like we were stuck in the middle of a huge crowd.

We both ordered a cup of coffee, decaf for me, and waited somewhat patiently for our food to arrive. The portions were huge, and we both loved what we got. I had the Breakfast Tacos (left), and K had the Finish Line omelet (right). image2 (26)IMG_3685

 

 

 

 

 

 

After breakfast, we made our way to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a place we’d always meant to visit while we lived in Kansas City, but never made the time. We loved taking our time wandering in and out of rooms with sculptures, paintings, and artifacts galore. I wish I had taken more pictures, but it is something you need to experience for yourself. I hope to make another visit in 2017 when they open up the new Bloch galleries.

When our feet were ready for a short break, we drove over to Westport, one of the most popular entertainment districts in Kansas City, and attempted to grab a table at a couple of our favorite locations. Beer Kitchen (a must-visit) and Westport Cafe (one we hadn’t tried before) were both packed with 45 minute waits, but our third try at McCoy’s Public House was a success. We’d only been to this restaurant once before, but like the laid-back atmosphere and enjoyed a plate of hummus while we warmed up from the cold wind outside.¬†image6 (2)

This was our appetizer for our actual lunch which we got at Char Bar, one of the many many many amazing BBQ joints in Kansas City. You really can’t go wrong when selecting which restaurant you want to try out. This is one of the newer places, located in Westport, and we were not disappointed. I wasn’t all that hungry, so I ordered the Sunflower Salad with Smoked Chicken (left), and K had the Triple Crown sandwich (right).

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We decided to take a short break, and went back to our hotel for about an hour to rest, change, and freshen up before the next activities on our agenda. Around 4:30, we drove back down to the Country Club Plaza, and spent a few hours avoiding the windy weather by speed-walking from shop to shop. This is one of my favorite places to shop in KC, other than Zona Rosa, and it offers some higher-end designer stores that are fun to browse. I especially needed a dose of some serious shopping after being limited to Walmart and the PX here for so long…This shopping trip was what we had decided would be our Valentine’s gifts for each other this year. I love surprising people with gifts, but it was also fun to get to buy something for each other while we were there, too! Luckily, my husband is a good sport about letting me wander around the stores as long as I don’t take¬†too¬†long.

We finished out the day with our Valentine’s dinner at BRIO Tuscan Grille. The restaurant was extremely busy, but we had a 7:00 reservation so no waiting for us! I had the Pesto Pasta (left), and K had the Strawberry Chicken Salad (right).¬†Soooo good.

After dinner, we caught the second half of the Iowa State basketball game at Argosy, and called it a night. A fun-filled day in our favorite city.

Sunday February 14:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We got met up with good friends¬†at our favorite breakfast spot: Harvey’s at Union Station.¬†I could spend hours hanging out in Union Station, admiring the huuuuge ceilings and architecture. Harvey’s sits in the center of US and has two open-air floors of seating. I love when we get to sit on the top level. Makes for some great people-watching! I had the Breakfast Quesadilla, which is my usual.¬†image5 (3)

So as you can tell, this was basically an eat our way through Kansas City trip, but we really enjoyed ourselves. It was great to be “home”, and I can’t wait til we can make another visit in the future.

As I’m writing this, I’ve decided I’m going to do a second, separate post about the rest of our Valentine’s Day experience, which was so memorable and unique, so be looking for that post in the next few days! It involves caves, vows, and chocolate covered strawberries ūüôā

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

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ipsy – February 2016

Hello friends!

So you all know that I’ve been trying to decide whether I’ll be canceling ipsy or BirchBox in the not so distant future, and I even told my husband that I’d choose which one I’d be saying ‘goodbye’ to before the next month!¬†Yikes! Well I thought I was on my way to an easy decision, but ipsy just sent me an awesome bag of samples, and now I’m distraught. I like the fun skincare products that BirchBox has been sending lately, but ipsy has some really awesome months, and the cute makeup bags are a plus, too. Hmmm… decisions, decisions.

This month’s theme is ‘Pretty in #IpsyPink, and the makeup bag is super cute. Reminds me of a digital valentine!

Here’s what ipsy sent me for the month of February 2016:

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  1. Cake Heavy Cream Intensive Hand Repair Balm –¬†So if you’ve been reading my posts lately, you’ll know that I’ve been going through lotions like crazy since my hands have sooo dry from all the hand washing I do at work. I’m more than happy to add this lotion to my purse, but we’ll have to see if there’s a fragrance in it that just makes my poor cracked skin sting even more! Also, I shouldn’t be surprised, but this stuff smells like cake and I’m not upset about it.
  2. Tr√®Stique Baby Blush Stick¬†Bora Bora Coral¬†–¬†TreStique is one brand that I’m getting really tired of receiving in ipsy bags. I’m just not a fan of cream products, especially for the cheeks, because I feel like it just cakes on and looks greasy. I did swatch this one on the back of my hand, and it feels powdery as you blend it, so it might be fine to use on days when I don’t really feel like wearing much makeup. I’ll experiment with it!
  3. Ciat√© London Mini Nail Polish¬†Sundays – My Off Duty Nude¬†–¬†This is one brand of nail polish that I’ve been wanting to try, so I’m really excited! I love the super pale pink shade, and it will be the next color my nails will be sporting once my current polish gets too chipped!
  4. Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Sparkling Lipgloss Pink Sequin¬†–¬†I’m not a fan of super sparkly lip glosses, or pretty much any lip gloss for that matter, but this might be okay to dab on over a lipstick as long as it isn’t pure glitter. I feel like I got away from that after middle school…Also, the tiny paint brush style of applicator is not my favorite. A bit of a thumbs down for this product.
  5. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under-eye Concealer Light¬†–¬†Another brand that I’ve been wanting to try, and I’ve heard great things about this concealer. I have some pretty dark under-eye circles, and this light shade looks like it could work for my skin tone. I only worry that the consistency seems a little thick, and I don’t like putting super heavy makeup under my eyes. Just one of those things!

That’s all for this month! Other than the lip gloss, everything else is products that I’m excited to try! ipsy gets an ‘A’ this month, which is a problem because they were who I was thinking of cutting…oops! Maybe I’ll just nix both and switch to Glossy Box or Boxy Charm!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

Love With Food – February 2016

Hello friends!

Another month, another Love With Food box! I was excited to find this in our mailbox as we got back in town from our Valentine’s Day weekend getaway to Kansas City, (post coming soon!) and opened it up with my husband who was looking for a couple good snacks he could steal for his week of field training coming up. Between this month’s LWF and Graze snacks, I think he’ll be set!

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This month’s theme, ‘Love Is You’, celebrates LWF’s one millionth meal donated to food banks in the US. The snacks inside are all about treating yourself a little, and I’m all for that!

Here’s what was in February 2016’s Love With Food Tasting box:

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  1. PopChips Boardwalk Kettle Corn Popped Corn Chips 
  2. Stoneridge Orchards All Natural Montmorency Cherries 
  3. YumEarth Googly Grape Organic Lollipops 
  4. Belgian Boys Choco Liege Wafel 
  5. Ruby Rockets Stellar Strawberry Non-Dairy Fruit & Veggie Blend 
  6. Baron Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Truffles with Milk Chocolate Creme Filling 
  7. Liddabit Sweets Sea Salt Caramels 
  8. Gourmet Nut Almond Cranberry Crunch Power Up Trail Mix 

Some interesting, and some delicious, sounding snacks in February’s box. A little skeptical on the non-dairy fruit blend, but I’m hoping it’s similar to those squeeze pouches of applesauce (yes I’ve had them before..no shame). I’m most excited about the caramels and the chocolate Belgian waffle, yum.¬†I can’t wait to see what they send along in March!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

Birchbox – February 2016

Hello friends!

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It’s BirchBox time again! This month’s theme is¬†‘What’s The Occasion?’, although if you also received this box you might have noticed that¬†someone didn’t do the greatest job of proof-reading the product description pamphlet, because the word ‘occasion’ was spelled with one ‘C’ and two ‘S’s…whoops!

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Other than that minor blunder, I was pretty happy with what BirchBox sent me for the month of February! Here’s what I received:

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  1. ModelCo Lip Enhancer Illusion Lip Liner –¬†The packaging of this product first made me think that it was a hot pink liner that I would probably never use, but once I opened it up and read the product description I realized that it’s supposed to be a universal lip liner. I’ve actually never used a lip liner before, so I’m willing to give this one a try and see if it’s something that’s been missing from my makeup routine! It’s nice that this product is in a pencil form that can be sharpened, so if I like it, I can get a lot of use out of it.
  2. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask –¬†I love getting new face masks samples in these boxes, so I’m looking forward to giving this one a try. I might have to spot-test this one since the tube claims it is very potent. I would hate to have a bad reaction to a mask when I’m trying to¬†help my skin!
  3. FHI Brands Daily Beauty for Wildlife Healing Argan Oil –¬†Honestly, I’m a little tired of receiving hair oils in my subscription boxes. I know they are great for your hair, depending on the type you have, but I just haven’t really found them to make a huge difference in the look or feel of my hair. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one for me? Maybe this is it? I’m willing to give it a try…
  4. COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face –¬†I was a little worried when I saw the word ‘tinted’ in the name of this product because I worry that the shade just won’t match my skin tone, and I’ll miss out on a great product¬†BUT it looks like I might be in the clear with this one! The shade is very fair, like me, and the tiny amount I put on the back of my hand blended right in. It has that nice powdery finish that won’t leave your face feeling like you just smeared on a glob of oil. This will be nice to hold on to for days when I’ll be getting a lot of sun exposure, and don’t want to wear a heavy foundation!
  5. Catherine Malandrino Eau de Parfum¬†Romance de Provence¬†¬†I can’t stand this type of perfume sample packaging (the little stick attached to the lid?) but I do like the smell of it! I’ll have to see if it’s one that lasts on me, but I also have to keep in mind that I have¬†two perfumes in my current P10P! I’ll save this sample for later..

That’s it for this month! Some good stuff that I’m looking forward to trying out but nothing that has me over-the-top excited, so I’m going to give February’s BirchBox a B. And definitely no gold star for that spelling error…

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

Graze Snack Box – Week of 2/8/2016

Hello friends!

I’m back with my second, and most likely final, Graze snack box. If you haven’t read up on the one I received last week, check it out ->here<- (There’s also a coupon code if you want to try Graze out for yourself!

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This box came with the full number of eight different snacks packed inside. Here’s what I got, and a quick description of each! I’ve only tried one so far (aka as I type…), but I’m pretty happy with what they sent!

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  1. Summer Berry Flapjack –¬†rustic rolled oat flapjack (think chewy granola bar) with berry-infused cranberries. This is the one I tried out while writing this post, and it was so good! Super soft, and actually pretty filling for what looks like a small portion.
  2. Sesame Garlic Crunch –¬†garlic sesame sticks, oat bran sesame sticks, and multigrain soy crackers. Love anything garlicky!
  3. Jelly Doughnut –¬†raspberry strings, vanilla cookie drops, raspberry cranberries, and almonds. I think this one could be good as long as you get a little of everything in each handful.
  4. Caramel Apple –¬†caramel sauce with soft, dried apple pieces. Pretty self-explanatory. I¬†love caramel apples, so I doubt that will change just because they are dried!
  5. Peaches and Cream –¬†passion fruit white chocolate, peach drops, coconut, and yogurt seeds. This one sounds interesting…but I’m definitely going to give it a try. I’m sure I will still love it! I don’t think I’ve ever had just plain, old coconut.
  6. Kettlecorn Kern Pops –¬†sweet and salty popped corn kernels. I grew up with a love for kettlecorn, especially from the Iowa State Fair, so I know I’ll like the flavor of this snack. The kernels look a lot like those Corn Nuts you can get at the gas station.
  7. Zesty Chili Lime Cashews –¬†This snack didn’t have a little description, even though the name sums it up, but I opened them up to give them a try anyways. YUM. Just a little kick of heat, and the sweetness from the lime.
  8. Herby Bread Basket –¬†basil baguettes, garlic crostini, and oregano rice crackers. This snack reminds me of a bag of Gardetto’s, and that’s not a bad thing.

So there you have it! I love the mixture of both sweet and savory snacks in this box, and it makes me really want to keep the subscription, but I know there are other things I’d rather spend $12 a week on, that’s for sure. It was fun to check out what Graze is all about, and maybe it is something you want to try!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

 

 

Project 10 Pan – Update & New P10P!

Hello friends!

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted about my P10P progress, and to be honest, I’m ready to move on and just start fresh with a new list of products. I used up nine of the fourteen total products I wanted to use up. That’s not too bad! Especially since I sort of fell behind on using the products after getting a bunch of new stuff around the holidays. So here’s to starting anew!

If you’re unfamiliar with Project 10 Pans, check out my first post here.

Here is my new list of products that I would like to either finish up, or make serious progress on:

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  1. Pureology Colour Fanatic Hair Treatment Spray –¬†This is one of the samples from my first sample project post, and I absolutely love this stuff so far! I spray it all over my damp hair right before blow drying, and it makes it so soft and shiny! I’m putting this product in my P10P since I’ve had it for over a year, and want to be sure to use it all up. Shouldn’t be too difficult!
  2. Coach Poppy Perfume –¬†I’ve had this perfume for the longest time, and absolutely love it, but want to make room for some new perfumes. I know this will take some work to get through, but right now the liquid level is right at the bottom of the pink ‘Coach’ label.
  3. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Perfume –¬†I can’t believe I’m putting two fragrances in this P10P, but this is another perfume that I’ve had for multiple years. I’ve made good progress on it over that time, but hadn’t touched it in quite a while. I have about 1/4 of the bottle to go.
  4. Bath & Body Works Body Cream¬†Vanilla Bean Noel¬†–¬†This was in one of my recent monthly favorites posts, and I’m just putting it on my list since I have a million and a half other lotions to work through. I’m almost done with it, and it’s to the point where I have to take off the lid and really squeeze the tube to get any out. Should be an easy one to check off the list!
  5. Bath & Body Works Shower Gel¬†Jingle All The Way¬†–¬†This should be another easy one to finish up. I only have maybe another week or two to go on this, but it’s on my list since I have quite a few more bottles of body wash waiting for their turn!
  6. Mary Kay ClearProof Acne Treatment Gel –¬†This used to be a part of my regular skincare routine, but when I started trying out different products, it got shuffled to the back of the cabinet. I just want to start using it again, so it doesn’t go bad and go to waste! There’s not a ton of this left – maybe 1/4 of the tube?
  7. Urban Decay Eyeshadow¬†Sin –¬†This is one product that was in my last P10P that really didn’t get much love after a couple weeks. You can tell that there’s hardly any product left, just a small ring around the edges. I just have to force myself to grab this one daily instead of reaching for my current favorite Revealed palette!
  8. NYX Butter Lipstick¬†Pops –¬†This is the other product that I’m rolling over from my last P10P since it was a replacement for another lipstick that I just ended up tossing. I really love this lipstick, but it can be tough to get through lip products! Sometimes they seem to be bottomless…
  9. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara Jet Black¬†–¬†This should be another easy one, since mascaras aren’t good to keep around for long periods of time. I really like this one, but it’s getting close to drying out, especially since it is only a sample size. I have a few other mascaras that need to get some use, too.
  10. Mary Kay ClearProof Oil-Free Moisturizer –¬†Like the treatment gel, I used to use this product all the time, but it wasn’t always enough moisture for what my skin was needing. I will try using this one more in the mornings when I need something a little lighter, or on days when I’m not planning on wearing much makeup. There’s about half the tube left.

That’s it! Ten more products I’d like to use up to make sure that I’m not letting anything go to waste! Sometimes the hardest part about doing these Project 10 Pans is that it disrupts the routine I was getting used to, but it also provides a little motivation to just use them up. Maybe I’ll even remember why I used to love the product so much ūüôā

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧

Graze Snack Box – Week of 2/1/2016

Hello friends!

I recently stumbled across a code to try out a snack box from the company – Graze. They are similar to Love With Food, except the snacks come from the company own kitchen, and you can pick and choose the types of snacks you enjoy so that your boxes are more personalized. This subscription can come as often as once a week, so be careful if you sign up! Your card will be charged at the beginning of each week. You¬†can¬†choose to “snooze” your subscription if you need to take a break. I’m not sure if this is one I’ll stick with, but figured I couldn’t pass up a free trial ūüôā

My free box came with four snacks to sample, and they all sound delicious.

Here’s what was in my first Graze box, along with a quick description of each since I haven’t given them a try yet!

  1. Cinnamon Pretzel –¬† poppyseed pretzels and cinnamon honey almonds. Look really yummy and I love cinnamon and honey combined!
  2. Apple & Cinnamon Flapjack –¬†rustic rolled oat flapjack with apple and cinnamon. Their ‘flapjack’ appears to be similar to¬†a soft granola bar. Can you tell my box seems to have a bit of a flavor theme going on?
  3. Honey Drizzled Cashews –¬†just what the name says. I love honey and I love cashews. I think I’m going to like this one!
  4. Eleanor’s Apple Crumble –¬†soft apple pieces, raisins, and cinnamon honey almonds. Sooo more cinnamon and honey, but I’m excited to try the apple pieces in this one. Yum!

Overall, I’m still trying to decide if the overall value for the full-size Graze box (8 snacks at $11.99) is really worth it, but if you’re wanting to try out some healthier, more natural snacks, this might be something you want to try! If you’re curious, head over ->here<- to sign up, and use my code ‘DKXQRNT2B’ to get your 1st and 5th boxes for free with no commitment, and you can cancel at anytime ūüôā

Happy snacking!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ‚̧