Last Day for Staches

Around my home, the month of November has been all about moustaches. My husband and his work colleagues celebrated Movember this year by growing insane and sometimes creepy-looking moustaches.

If you're wondering what the heck "Movember" is, it's a month-long awareness campaign for men's health issues. On November 1, men shave their faces and spend all of November going through very awkward facial hair stages in the attempt to grow a cool moustache a la Burt Reynolds.

Matthew has past issues growing a beard, (I think it's God way of not letting him cover up his adorable dimples!), so I was a little concerned that his upper lip wouldn't be able to rival the other's in his office. Boy, was I wrong. I think he grew the best one and I'm even letting him keep it for awhile. (We'll see if my hormones get in the way of this nice gesture. I could be screaming at him to shave in the delivery room!)

Check out that awesome moustache cardigan courtesy of 5 # apparel in Springfield.

Today is the last and final day for many wives and girlfriends to have to "admire" the staches. And while we endured 30 long days of pretending we love you no matter what you look like, we'll be glad to have our freshly-shaven men back (some of us).

If you'd like to donate to Matthew's team page, click here.

- Melina



What Jessica Simpson and I have in common

When I heard the news yesterday that Jessica Simpson is pregnant just seven months after having her daughter Maxwell, memories of my own "surprise second" came flooding back ...

Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty
Evie was just seven months old when we found out she was going to be a big sister. I wish I could say our tears were those of joy, but it was a pretty tough time for us. We were just learning how to be parents to one little girl; having another on the way was just too much to handle. Still, we tried our best to enjoy every moment with Miss Evie ...

Just days after finding out we were pregnant - AGAIN!
At Evie's first birthday, I was seven months pregnant. See her resting on my belly ... so not fair!

Around the time Evie turned one, we put our tiny, two-bedroom bungalow in Waldo on the market, thankfully selling it within two weeks. Two weeks after we moved in to our new home, Nora was born.

I'm not going to lie - it was really, really hard at first. Our marriage was tested more than ever before, and Evie reacted to sharing her parents by acting out in a variety of ways. What I remember most was how she started hitting (other little kids at mother's day out and her baby sister too). But there were sweet moments as well, which somehow got us through.

And Nora was the sweetest baby ...

Now that the girls are four and three, life is much easier, and I'm able to reflect on our time in the trenches. I even have some advice ...

1. Set reasonable expectations for yourself. Your house will not always be clean. You will not always look good, thin, clean. You will be tired. Don't beat yourself up about any of these things. Just try and love on your babies (and husband - see tip 2) as much as you can.

2. Don't let your marriage suffer. As hard as it is, you have to set aside time for your spouse. Babies aren't the only ones who need attention and affection. Sometimes I think our men need it most of all. Mark and I finally take time for our relationship with date nights and even weekends away when we can manage it. We learned the hard way - you don't have to.

3. Get help if you need it. Help may come in the form of a babysitter or mother's day out once a week, a house cleaner if you can afford it ... or even medication. Yep, many new mothers (and experienced ones too) need help with depression and anxiety, and instead of judging one another, we need to show our support!

4. Don't take it personally. My girls have both gone through some pretty terrible stages (mostly with hitting, biting, etc.), and I've had some awful run-ins with other moms. Friends and family: Remember the mom who chewed me out at Oak Park Mall when 18-month-old Evie hit her daughter or the mom at the Jewish Community Center who freaked out (calling me out of a packed workout class) when 1-year-old Nora scratched her child? I still cringe when I think of those moments. At the time, I cried, I raged, and I took it all very personally. I wondered what was wrong with me, the girls ... Now I know it's all relatively normal, and while none of us are perfect, I try my best and so do my girls. Fortunately, they stopped beating up on other kids; they only injure each other these days!

5. Surround yourself with positive people. We have been very blessed to have an incredibly supportive family and circle of friends. We've also made new friends, who continue to lift us up and add love and joy to our lives. Forget those who judge, take without giving back and make you feel bad about your choices, your messy home/hair/life.

6. Last one - laugh! Our kids, the chaos, our husbands, the fact that we sometimes wear pajamas to gymnastics class and forget to brush our hair ... or how many times you go through a drive-through for a meal when you swore you never would ... it's all pretty funny, right? Lighten up, laugh and try to enjoy your life with two little ones. They won't be wearing underwear, rain boots and bunny ears forever (or at least we hope not!)

- Kara


Win a Holiday Home Makeover

There is a really amazing contest going on right now, and you MUST enter! One of my clients, Time Warner Cable, is giving away a holiday home makeover (including outside lights, a fully-decorated tree and more) to a lucky customer, and that customer could be you!

Here's what you need to do:

1. Go to Twitter and log in with your account. If you don't have one, sign up; it's quick, easy, and really, we should all be on Twitter by now, right?!
2. Search #EnjoyHolidaysBetter or @TWCable_KC and share why you should win (the more touching or inspiring the story, the better of course!)
3. Get your friends, family and other random followers to Retweet your entry.
4. Cross your fingers and wait for the results.

The deadline is noon Thursday - that's tomorrow - so get on it! The very fortunate winner will receive outside lights, as well as a fully-decorated tree and more, all designed by fellow blogger and design extraordinaire Julie Blanner at Coordinately Yours.

That's not all ... While this week's contest ends tomorrow, you can enter each week for a new prize. Next up for grabs? $700 for gifts, plus Time Warner Cable "elves" will do the shopping and wrapping for you! Incredible, right?! You can begin entering for that gift on Monday, Dec. 3, with the deadline at noon Thursday, Dec. 6.

The following week, we'll be giving away a catered holiday lunch for a local business, and the final week will gift an area classroom with a special Breakfast with Santa. Think of how much your child would love you for that one?!

OK, the clock is ticking, so go to Twitter NOW! (While you're there, make sure to follow us too: @EditKC.

- Kara


The BEST Santa

In the four and-a-half years I've been a mom, we've waited in lines for an hour and paid as much as $50 - all for a few minutes on Santa's lap. Most of the time, one (or both) of the girls has been in tears, I've been a sweaty mess and it all felt like a chore. But not this year!

We found the best Santa experience, and it's at a place I never thought I'd be writing about on this blog ... Bass Pro.

Bass Pro pretty much symbolizes everything I despised about growing up in southwest Missouri - deer hunting season (ick), camo, Carhartt (you don't know how many of my boyfriends wore this terrible brand) and guns (I cried the first and last time I shot one).

But, now as an adult, I have to admit, Bass Pro has a few redeeming qualities. If you're in Springfield at least, you have Hemingway's Restaurant, which has a great Sunday brunch ... and then there are the fish, turtles and other real wildlife (don't even get me started on all the sad, stuffed bears, poor things!) Ok, ok, back to the positives ...

Most of all, Bass Pro has the most wonderful Santa experience ever, and it's all FREE! Here are the girls this year, just loving Santa!

I was able to take my own pictures, plus they gave us a free 4x 6. You could also purchase a larger package, but in this digital age, why waste your money? Go home, scan that photo in and make as many copies as you want.

Last year, Nora wasn't about to sit on Santa's lap, but this year, she chatted away, listing off all the things she wants for Christmas and swearing she's been good (ha!)

In addition to a FREE photo with Santa, there are fun activities for the kids, all at no cost. Our girls loved the slide, as well as the carousel. Not sure if all stores have these, but Springfield does. There are also crafts and other games for kids of all ages. My Dad even had fun with some kind of shooting game ...

Speaking of Papou (who absolutely loves Bass Pro), the girls had a great time with him all weekend.

Of course, they loved spending time with their Yiayia too ...

And even Mommy ...

So, if you're about to visit Santa, take my word for it and head to Bass Pro. Here's where you can find one:

Independence:                        Olathe:                              Springfield:
18001 Bass Pro Drive             12051 Bass pro Drive        1935 South Campbell Avenue
(816) 795-4300                       (913) 254-5200                   (417) 887-7334

Santa hours for all stores are:

Monday-Friday: 3 to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.

Ho, ho, ho!

- Kara



As a proud aunt of one four-year-old and two three-year-old girls, I consider myself in-the-know on what's popular with toddler girls . . .anything pink or purple and with a princess on it.

And if you've already started your holiday shopping this year, the aisles are more pink than ever. From babies to Barbies, it seems toy manufacturers have given up on girls wanting to use their imagination  for anything more than playing house or dress up.

But one woman is determined to make a difference in what young girls play with. Her name is Debbie Sterling Lewis, the inventor of a new toy called Goldieblox.  An engineer major from Stanford, Debbie quickly realized how few women are in her field. To fix this, she's created Goldie, a young girl who loves to build things. Watch this inspiring and heartfelt video about how Goldieblox came about.


- Melina


Must Shop: Madewell

I have to admit, I've never purchased anything from Madewell ... until now! Last week, good friend Maggie joined me for a blogger's night out at Madewell in Town Center. The goal of the evening was to embellish an item of clothing, which we did, but the real fun of the evening (for me anyways, not a crafter) was chatting it up with fellow bloggers, spending quality time with one of my favorite gal pas and shopping, of course! Here are a few pics from the evening ... and later, I'll reveal my fun (and first-time) Madewell purchase!

The lovely photos above were taken by Denene Brox. And here are a few of mine ...

 Now for my purchase ... a steal at an additional 30% off and perfect for a holiday party or two:

 Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow!

- Kara


Holiday Gift Guide: Local Pig

This gift idea is for the man or serious foodie in your life. The Local Pig is a Kansas City butcher shop that supplies only hormone, steroid and antibiotic free meats with most of the animals coming from this area.

On the weekends, they offer hands-on classes that teach you how to break down whole animals, make sausages or pates and even cut and truss an entire boneless turkey. If the idea of this is making you squirm, it's probably not the right gift for you, but I have some serious foodies in my life that I know would love this gift. I love the idea of gifting an experience, and I this one teaches you a great skill as well.

They also offer a service called Butcher Box, which is a subscription style (you know I love these!) service that supplies enough meat to your family to feed you for one or two weeks. Prices range from $50-75.

Local Pig is located at 2618 Guinotte Ave, Kansas City, MO 64120. To purchase tickets for their various classes, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/venue/140967.

- Melina



Save These Dates

It's holiday season, and our weekends are filling up fast - are yours? Despite how busy we all are, there's one thing we still need to do - shop for holiday gifts. That's why we're so excited for two upcoming shows featuring our very own Edit.
  1. The first is Saturday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Clip Joint, a salon in Springfield, Mo. Clip Joint is located at 3310 S. National in the Kelly Plaza Shopping Center. Anyone (hello Nixa and Ozark friends!) is invited to stop by to browse our NEW jewelry, winter scarves and clothing.
  2.  Our second show is a two-day event - Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Trailwood Holiday Boutique in Overland Park. We'll be one of many vendors, so there should be something for everyone (but of course you'll want to shop with us first, right?!) We'll be there all weekend - Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., so we hope you'll stop by!

- Kara

Eat: Gailey's in Springfield

When it comes to brunch, we usually don't venture too far from home. My husband makes a mean biscuits and gravy, and we have a few places in Nixa we'll go when we don't feel like cooking. But a few weeks ago my sister-in-law was visiting, and we came across Gailey’s Breakfast Café in downtown Springfield. It's been locally owned since 2005 and has been voted best breakfast by 417 magazine five years in a row! How we just discovered this place, I have no idea!

This delicious little café is located in the Historic Hotel Seville on Walnut Street. The atmosphere is great and the food even better. I had scrambled eggs with asiago cheese and cilantro - yum!

Hope you'll give this fabulous place a try this weekend. I might even see you there!

- Mea



Dear Santa: My Holiday Wish List

I know the season is about giving, and believe me, I have some great gifts in store for my loved ones, but that doesn't mean a girl can't have a Christmas list of her own! Here's what I've been eyeing lately and would love to unwrap on Christmas morning (you pick and choose Santa!)

My Holiday Wish List

Calvin Klein coat / Robe / Sperry Top-Sider leopard print ballet flat / Kate Spade / Lancôme beauty product, $29


What do you want for Christmas this year?


- Kara


Loft Love

Over the weekend, I hit up a few stores at Town Center Plaza (while I was supposed to be grocery shopping) and found my new pair of favorite jeans ... Ann Taylor Loft's curvy skinny jeans ...

These are a great fit - and really do flatter a girl's curves, plus they're priced well too - just $69.50. I was in luck as Loft was having its Friends and Family sale, so I walked away with new jeans for around $40!

With such a great sale, I couldn't resist this bright sweater (with a striped back, so cute!) While I received an additional 40% off, Loft is now running a sale for an extra 50% off all sale items. Check out their sale items in the store or online.

I only picked up the two items - I'm supposed to be Christmas shopping - but here are two dresses I thought looked really cute ... holiday party, anyone?

Tiny Track Print Blouse Dress, $89.50

Bow Neck Pleated Blouse Dress, $89.50
Have you found anything you loved at Loft lately?

- Kara


Holiday Gift Idea: Birchbox

I love monthly subscriptions. I'm not talking magazines, though I love those too, but I mean monthly gifts. When Matthew and I were first dating, he got me one of my all-time favorite gifts, a cheese-of-the-month club membership. We followed that up with wine-of-the-month (obvious pairing, right?), but sadly since we've become home owners and more budget conscious, we've dropped the monthly gifts. But in the early months of this pregnancy, I decided to indulge myself and signed up for Birchbox.  If you're not familiar with Birchbox, it's a monthly subscription of beauty samples. A great way to try new products. If you're a sucker for Sephora mainly for the samples, then Birchbox is for you!

You can join Birchbox and pay $10 month with no contract or cancellation fee, or you can sign up for 3, 6, or 12-month memberships. I love this gift idea for sisters or best friends. It's unique and fun, and who doesn't love getting some beauty goodies in the mail each month?

- Melina