Aug 31

Labor Day Events in Kansas City

Labor Day is coming up soon, but there’s still time to make plans for the weekend.  Here are just a few things going on in Kansas City this coming weekend.

Labor Day weekend is the first day of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.  If you love Renaissance fairs, you’ll love this huge festival.  It covers more than 16 acres and includes shops, artists, rides, games, great food, and, of course, many people in costumes.

The Kansas City Royals are planning against Detroit Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  If you’re a sports fan, here’s your Labor Day weekend activity!

Irish Fest is also taking place this weekend.  Centered around the Crown Center, the event features three stages with many different performers and other Irish-themed activities.  Food, of course, will also play a huge part!

Another Labor Day tradition is Santa-Cali-Gon Days, an event held at Historic Square in Independence, Missouri.  This huge festival lasts all weekend and features many different games and live entertainment.  Admission to Santa-Cali-Gon Days is free.

If you’re a doll collector, you’re going to want to be at Oak Park Mall this Labor Day.  American Girl is going to open, and this store has everything doll lovers want.  There might even be a few free giveaways if you get there early enough!

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Aug 23

Squeezing in a Few More Weeks of Summer Fun in Kansas City

Summer is almost over, but there are still a few more weeks left to squeeze in some fun in Kansas City.  The weather is cooling off a bit, so it’s a great time to head outdoors and enjoy a walk in the park.  Many farmers’ markets are also still open, so you can still pick up fresh vegetables and fruit. 

What else is there to do in Kansas City?  The Kansas City Zoo has a great number of animals for the kids to see, and there’s even a petting zoo area where they can meet some of these animals up close and personal.  You can even get a coupon for a free child’s admission when you purchase an adult admission.

For those who don’t want to spend the day in the heat, there’s the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.  The museum includes many different interesting exhibits, including the Memories of Korea special exhibit.  Exhibits highlighting Truman’s life and his presidency shouldn’t be missed.  Two for one admission coupons are available up through December 31.

For those with young children, the Wonderscope Children’s Museum may be of more interest.  Here, kids can explore the world via a number of different hands-on exhibits.  One of the most popular is the LEGO Ocean Adventure that gives kids the chance to learn about the ocean while playing with large LEGO bricks.

Finally, the Toy & Miniature Museum has 38 rooms showing off a large number of marbles, miniatures, and nostalgic toys.  Some of these toys will bring back memories of childhood.  The museum has everything from steam engine trains to vintage games and some one of a kind toys, too.

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Aug 18

Why Are Teachers Stressed?

School will be starting soon, and that means two things: back to the books for students and back to work for teachers.  But while most teachers think teaching is a fun job, many find themselves stressed out at least once during the school year.  But why?

There are many different reasons teachers get stressed.  First of all, there’s the workload.  While it may seem like teaching isn’t as much work as, say, computer programming, it’s really more than it seems.  There’s the prep time—preparing for the next day’s lessons and putting together tests and homework.  Then there’s the time spent out of class grading all that homework and the tests.  For some, this means reading pages and pages of essays and making comments on each one.

Another reason teachers get stressed out is when they have to deal with problems between students or between students and themselves.  Some students cause trouble in class, and it is the teachers’ responsibility to deal with this trouble in a way that leaves the student wanting to learn.  This can be very difficult, especially for those who teach younger students.

Then there’s the parent aspect.  Some parents simply do not want to believe that their child could cause problems.  Others don’t know why their children aren’t doing well in class and believe it’s the teacher’s fault.  Handling these parents in a calm, collected manner can be very difficult, especially if the parents get angry.

So teachers, despite that they all love their jobs, do often have stress in their lives.  If you’re a parent headed to a parent-teacher conference, remember this and be kind to them.  Teachers deserve a break.

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Aug 10

Romance and the Magic of Flowers

There are many different things that are considered romantic.  One of the things people often think of when asked to name something romantic is a bouquet of flowers, especially red roses.  When it comes to planning a romantic date or dinner, flowers are almost always a must.  The magic of flowers can turn any event into a romantic one…but why?

Flowers aren’t always romantic.  Sometimes, they symbolize friendship, such as when you receive flowers congratulating you on a promotion or for a job well done.  Sometimes they remind you that others care, as in get well flowers.  Sometimes they help to commemorate an event like a birth, a graduation, or a birthday.  While these flowers are certainly magical, they aren’t considered romantic unless they come from your significant other.

So what brings about the romantic magic of flowers?  Well, part of it is the sender.  As stated above, flowers from your significant other are obviously going to carry more of a romantic meaning than those from others.  Flowers given on anniversaries and on Valentine’s Day (or any other day significant to your relationship) are also more magical and romantic.

The magic of flowers is that they make us happy and remind us that others care.  While romantic flowers may seem best to some people, overall, all given flowers are magical.

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Aug 03

How to Say Thank You in 2010

Saying thank you hasn’t really changed that much over the years, but as our world has grown, new ways of saying thanks have emerged.  While saying thanks with a small gift or a bouquet of flowers will never go out of style, there are some different ways of saying thank you in 2010.

The first is via email.  Many people fire off a quick “thanks” email when someone helps them out, especially if the help comes in the form of email.  All it takes it hitting reply and saying “thank you!”  In the past, people often had to speak in person to get information they need.  Saying “thanks” was then done in person.  It’s a bit less personal via email, but at least the courtesy is still there.

Some people see texting a “thanks” as even more impersonal than email.  However, with the major increase in texting among everyone (especially young people, but people of all age text), text thank yous are not uncommon now.  It’s not the most personal or best way to tell someone you appreciate what they’ve done, but it can be acceptable in some circumstances, such as for something minor. 

While both of these technological ways of saying thanks have become more popular in 2010, there’s nothing like saying thank you in person.  For the really big thanks, adding flowers, candy, or a small gift is certainly still appropriate.  Overall, of course, the main thing is being sincere and truly appreciating what the person did for you.

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Jul 27

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat – Make Your Patio a Cool Oasis

It’s difficult to stay cool in the oppressive summer heat, but you can do some things to help turn your patio into a nice, cool oasis.  That way, you can enjoy your beautiful backyard in the evenings while watching the stars come out or while enjoying a nice dinner with friends.

To create your cool patio oasis, you only need a few things.  The first is patio furniture.  You’ve got to have somewhere to sit, after all.  You don’t have to spend a lot on this patio furniture—you can get folding chairs fairly cheap at most stores.  However, if you plan on spending a lot of time on your patio, you may want to invest in a nicer, more comfortable set of chairs and perhaps a table as well.  You could also purchase a glider or even install a porch swing.

You also need some lighting.  While most homes have some kind of outdoor light above or near the patio, it’s often harsh lighting.  You may want to get some outdoor lanterns or even some torches to light.  Most torches double as insect repellant, which is handy.  Candles can also make for nice lighting.  If you have the budget for it, you may even want to invest in a small metal fire pit.  While the heat these fire pits produce may not be exactly welcome in the hot summer months, they do give you the chance to make tasty S’mores to snack on.

Some nice green plants can put the finishing touches on your cool oasis.  You may want to hang baskets of ivy or flowering plants like Moss Rose around the edge of your patio.  Flowering plants in pots can add some nice color, and the fragrance from these flowers is always welcome.  Of course, you can also add other small decorative touches such as bird feeders, wind chimes, and more.  It’s your patio oasis—make sure it reflects your sense of style!

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Jul 20

Lift a Dark Mood with Flower Therapy

Everyone gets in a dark mood from time to time.  Sometimes it’s a result of things going wrong.  Other times we just seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to get cheered up.  We can even cheer ourselves up, and one of the ways of doing this is with flower therapy!

What is flower therapy, you wonder.  Well, it has been shown through several scientific studies that flowers truly do make people happy.  Whether it’s something to do with the scent, the sight, or something else isn’t quite clear, but what is clear is that flowers can make us happy and get rid of that dark mood. 

Receiving flowers is the best form of flower therapy.  When you receive flowers, it’s often as a surprise.  A good, unexpected surprise like this can be all you need to change your bad day into a happy one.  But the power of flower therapy doesn’t end there.  Every time you see the arrangement, you’ll think of how happy it made you and how special you feel.  You’ll also think of the person who sent you the flowers, and that can increase your happiness, especially if they can from a significant other.

Sending flowers to yourself can also help cheer you up.  While you don’t get the surprise or that feeling of being special that comes from someone else sending flowers, you do get to enjoy the sight and scent of them.  Adding a bright arrangement to your desk at work or to your kitchen table can go a long way to making you feel happy, and that’s the result we’re looking for!

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Jul 13

How to Plan an Indoor Picnic

While a romantic picnic outdoors is certainly nice, sometimes the weather doesn’t permit it.  Other times, the bugs are just too much.  However, a nice alternative is an indoor picnic, especially for those who aren’t exactly the outdoors types.

Planning an indoor picnic is easy.  First, select the location.  You can push the furniture out of the way and use your living room or dining room floor, or you can spread your picnic blanket over your bed and use that.  Any indoor location works.  For the small and intimate, you can even have an indoor picnic in your laundry room or in a large closet.

Next, decide on the food.  Indoor picnics aren’t limited by cooler space or the transportation of food.  You can have hot, cooked food right from your own kitchen, or you can go with sandwiches or other traditional picnic foods.  Drink, too, is completely up to you—lemonade, water, soda, or something more romantic like champagne or wine.

That’s all you need.  Just pick a time, invite your significant other over, and enjoy your indoor picnic!

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Jul 06

The Lost Art of Romance

Some people say romance is dead.  But is it really?  Perhaps it’s not dead but it has simply changed form.  However, if you bring back the lost art of romance as it once was, you’ll find that you can impress your significant other like nothing else.

The first part of the lost art of romance is to set the mood.  Today, many people simply cook up a quick meal or order in, but if you truly want to impress your significant other, you’ll need to pay attention to the details.  How many people turn down the lights and eat by candle light any more?  Set the table with some tapers and put some tea lights around the room.  You may even want to play a CD of piano music or other romantic music, but remember to keep the volume down fairly low so that it doesn’t interfere with talking.

Flowers, too, are an important part of setting the mood and showing off your romantic side.  Buy her a nice bouquet of her favorite flowers or set them on the table to surprise her.  Remember, though, that you’ll want to move them off the table so that there’s nothing between the two of you that would impede talking.  During dinner, you want to be able to see each other.

If you go out, be sure to hold doors for her and, if at a restaurant, pull out her chair.  These small touches of chivalry may be lost on some women, but others will truly appreciate the extra lengths you’re going to.  Just be sure she’s going to appreciate them—if you know your girlfriend or wife isn’t into these types of things (some women aren’t), then don’t do them.

Romance may be something of a lost art in today’s break-neck speed lifestyle, but if you slow down and do a little work, you’ll find that you can bring it back and truly make an impression.

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Jun 30

Celebrate the 4th in Kansas City

Wondering what to do this Fourth of July in Kansas City?  Well, the people of KC certainly know how to celebrate our nation’s day of independence.  They have a number of different events you can attend and, of course, many of them feature fireworks.

More than 20,000 people attend the annual Parkville Fourth of July Fireworks and Festival every year.  Things start on Tuesday morning with a parade followed by an all-day carnival at English Landing Park.  At 9:30 p.m., fireworks are shot off over the Missouri River.

Berkley Riverfront Park is host to the KC Riverfest, one of the most popular fireworks shows in the KC Metro.  There are a number of things to do before the fireworks show, but you don’t want to miss the grand finale.  This fireworks display is actually choreographed to live music!

Worlds of Fun, one of Kansas City’s popular theme parks, will be hosting its own Fourth of July celebration.  This event is one of the longest running annual fireworks show in Kansas City, and it all starts around 10 p.m.

For those wanting to spend a little time with nature before watching fireworks, the Booms and Blooms Fest at Powell Gardens is exactly what you want.  Stroll through the beautiful gardens, maybe even take a picnic dinner, before settling near the lake to watch the fireworks.  This event is actually held on the third, not the fourth, so you can attend it and then plan to see another fireworks display on Independence Day.

Finally, Corporate Woods Star Spangled Spectacular is another amazing Fourth of July event full of funnel cakes, a free concert, and a huge fireworks display that is one of the biggest in the area.  It all starts at 4:00 p.m. and lasts until 11.  Note that parking is a concern with this event, so be ready to walk.

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