Jun 22

Summer Flowers & Entertaining Outdoors

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor entertaining.  Whether you’re just having a few friends over or hosting an outdoor party for your entire family, getting out of the house and enjoying an evening outside can be a great change of pace.  Of course, you do have to do a little planning before hosting an evening outdoors, and that includes decorating.

Since you’re going to be outdoors, why not take advantage of the décor already there?  Setting up your table near your beautiful flower beds or garden can be a great way to bring in the greens and other bright colors.  For your table, cut a few fresh blooms from these flowers and place them in a vase.  Alternatively, you can order a nice arrangement that compliments the colors of your garden and flowers.

You can also bring the summer flower décor indoors.  If your guests will need to go through your home to get to your event, place a few vases of summer flowers around your home.  If they’re coming in through a gate, you can put a small table near the entrance with summer flowers on it.  If you need to put a sign up directing guests to the back yard, you could attach a few flowers to it or put several pots of flowers around it.

By letting your summer flowers spread out from the table, you’ll be creating an overall motif that will really impress your guests and show off both your gardening and your decorating skills.

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Jun 16

Fun Things to Do With Dad in Kansas City

Treat Dad like a King this Father’s Day with our list of great ideas to celebrate dads in Kansas City this June!

Father’s Day Week at Paradise Park
June 14-20, 10:00, Paradise Park.
Celebrate dads all week in the Children’s Edutainment Center. Register to win a Father’s Day golf package and a FREE Family Adventure Pass. With every registration, Mom gets a FREE Max Pak Unlimited wristband to entertain the kids on Father’s Day, June 20. 816.246.5224 www.Paradise-Park.com

Father’s Day Bass Pro Boat Show
June 19-20, Titanic Museum (Branson).
Cruise on over to Titanic Branson this Father’s Day weekend and check out the dream boats. Bass Pro Shops Tracker Boat Center will dock some of its hottest, most popular brands right in Titanic’s parking lot from 9:00 to 6:00 each day. Free. 800.334.9500

Father’s Day Card Making
June 19 11:00am-12:30pm, Whole Foods (Overland Park).
Every Dad deserves a special card on Father’s Day! Come make him a one-of-a-kind, just from you Card!

Father’s Day Zoo Fun
June 20, 10:00-3:00, The Kansas City Zoo.
Treat your dad to a day at the Kansas City Zoo. Dads receive free admission and a free Johnsonville brat or hot dog. 816.573.5800

Dads Get in FREE at Cosmosphere
June 20, The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
Dads get in free (an All-Day Mission Pass) with any paid admission on Father’s Day. Regular admission applies for guests. www.Cosmo.org

Dad’s Ride FREE: Belton, Grandview and KC Railroad
June 20, Ride the rails like your grandparents.
Dads ride free with a paid child’s admission on Father’s Day. 816.331.0630 www.BeltonRailroad.org

Father’s Day FREE Admission at Truman Library
June 20, Truman Presidential Museum & Library.
Fathers receive free admission at the Truman Library when touring June 20. Mr Truman (Niel Johnson) will greet visitors from 1:30 to 3:30. 800.833.1225

Father’s Day Performance at Powell Gardens
June 20, 2:00, Powell Gardens.
Powell Gardens salutes dads everywhere with a family-friendly afternoon performance out in the Gardens by the Doo-Dads. Regular admission: $9.50/adults, $8.50/seniors and $4/children 5-12. 816.697.2600 x209 www.PowellGardens.org

Father’s Day Fishing Derby
June 20 4:30, Heritage Park Marina.
Take dad fishing! A picture-perfect event for the whole family. Held rain or shine, so dress appropriately. Bait and refreshments provided; bring your own tackle. Pre-reg, $5-$6. 913.685.6030 www.BlueValleyRec.org

From: KCParent Magazine

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Jun 09

Keeping Your Outdoor Flowers Happy in the Summer Heat

With the hot summer heat about to hit, it’s important to remember that your flowers are going to need a little extra attention.  What can you do to make certain your outdoor flowers survive the summer heat when the thermometer starts reaching triple digits? 

Watering your outdoor flowers is very, very important, obviously, but don’t just water your flowers whenever you feel like it.  If you water them between noon and 5:00 p.m., most of the water will simply evaporate in the heat.  This not only leaves your flowers dry and thirsty, it also wastes water.  Watering after 6:00 p.m. or even later will insure that your flowers absorb as much water as they can.

Use a sprinkler to make sure that all your flowers, plants, and lawn get as evenly covered as possible.  Move it as necessary around the flower beds and garden until everything has been watered.

Check the weather to see when rain is expected.  You may not need to water your flowers if it’s going to rain the next day.  This helps save water and keeps from over-watering.  Too much water can be just as bad for some flowers as too little water.

These watering tips will help you keep your outdoor flowers happy during the summer and will help conserve water as well.

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May 24

So You Need to Send a Gift Today

You’re at work or doing chores around the house, and suddenly you realize it’s your sister’s birthday or, worse, your anniversary!  You need to send a gift right away or risk making a family member, friend, or your significant other upset.  But what can you do when you need to send a gift today?  If you live close enough to the person, you may be able to pick up something from a nearby store and deliver it.  However, if you don’t live nearby, that’s not an option.

Instead, you can send flowers!  Many florists will deliver on the same day if you get your order in early enough.  Flowers and the small gifts that florists have (balloons, stuffed animals, and candy) can usually work for just about any occasion from birthdays to sympathy to congratulations.  With today’s online capabilities, many florists have even networked with others around the country or even around the world so it’s possible to send flowers anywhere.  All it takes is a few minutes online and your gift of flowers will be off to convey your message to the recipient.

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May 18

How Green Is Your Garden? Making Your Own Luck

Few people grow lucky four leaf clovers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own luck with your garden.  With a little planning and preparation, you can make your garden look incredibly green and beautiful.  Others may think you’re incredibly lucky, but you’ll know that it was all skill and knowledge.

Know when to plan: some flowers prosper when planted while the ground is still a little chilly.  Others need to be planted in the spring so they can take advantage of all that great spring rain.  Knowing when to plant your flowers can make a huge difference in how your garden looks.

Know how to take care of each and every plant.  If you know which plants and flowers need direct sunlight and which ones don’t, you can arrange your flowerbeds so that all of your flowers are getting exactly what they need.  Also pay attention to how much water each type of plant needs and, if possible, group like plants together.  It makes it easier to water them.

Cut off the deadheads and dead leaves periodically.  Ideally, you’ll do this about once a week.  Just getting rid of the dead foliage will keep your garden looking nice.

Just knowing a bit about the various plants you have in your garden will allow you to make it look much greener and prettier than you might expect.  You don’t need good luck to have a beautiful garden—just a bit of knowledge.

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May 11

Plan an Anniversary Date Night In Kansas City

Is your anniversary coming up?  Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth, you want to have a great time celebrating your love and your marriage.  There are a number of different things you can do in Kansas City on your anniversary, and here are just a few ideas for the perfect evening.

Recreate your first date.  If you had your first date in Kansas City, why not do your best to recreate it?  Go back to the same restaurant or repeat the same events.  If you went to a concert, try to find another great concert to attend.  If the restaurant you went to is no longer in business, try to find a similar one.  It may not be possible to completely recreate the event, but you can get close.

Alternatively, plan your anniversary date as a stay-at-home event.  Order out, though, so you don’t have to spend time in the kitchen.  Once you’ve got your food delivered, you can have a picnic on the living room floor complete with wine or champagne, appetizers, dinner, and a great dessert.  A romantic, candle-lit dinner on the patio or balcony is also a great idea.

Another idea is to take an evening stroll through one of Kansas City’s parks or downtown areas.  Just walking together talking can be a great way to reconnect and reaffirm your relationship.  Just ambling through a park with no particular destination or direction can be very romantic, especially if you stop to kiss under the stars.

Of course, you’ve got to pay attention to details, no matter what you plan on your anniversary.  Be sure to have a chilled bottle of wine or champagne on hand, have some chocolates or dessert to enjoy after the date, and don’t forget the flowers.  Anniversary flowers are the perfect way to start off your date!

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May 04

Things We Learn From Our Mothers

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, this is the time of year that many of us start to think about our moms and what we’ve learned from them.  Few people impact our lives as much as our mothers do.  While each mother teaches her children her own lessons, there are a number of things that just about everyone learns from mom.

Honesty—No one seems to be able to catch us in a lie like our mothers.  They always seem to know when we’re bending the truth, whether it’s just a little white lie or a major whopper.  Learning honesty is very important, and moms make it a priority to teach this lesson to us.

Cleanliness—“Clean your room!”  How many of us heard this on a weekly basis?  Moms struggle hard to teach their children how to keep their rooms clean.  Failing to learn to clean up after ourselves can result in keeping a messy home later in life, and no one wants that.

Time management—How many times did you want to watch television or hang out with your friends instead of doing homework?  Moms teach us to prioritize, a skill that is invaluable later in life, especially at work.  While doing homework before playing isn’t fun, but it pays off later when you know to put that important business project ahead of going out.

Good judgment—Moms have, on occasion, told us that our friends are bad influences or that we shouldn’t make a certain decision.  While we often ignore them at the time (to our determent, usually), we later look back and see that they were correct.  Learning to correctly judge a situation can often be a lifesaver. 

Show your appreciation—If someone does you a favor, tell them thank you.  Showing appreciation for those who care for you and help you out not only makes you new friends but it also strengths the relationships you already have.  Of course, the first person you should show appreciation to is your mother for teaching you all of these life skills.  Send her flowers this Mother’s Day and randomly throughout the year to remind her that you love and appreciate all she’s done for you!

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May 03

How to Send Flowers that Match Mom’s Personality

It’s a foregone conclusion that sending your mom flowers on Mother’s Day is a great idea.  What isn’t such an easy decision is picking the flowers to send.  Sure, there are a number of different arrangements specifically designed for Mother’s Day, but many of these bouquets use different flowers.  Which ones are right for your mom?  Here are a few tips for selecting the perfect flowers for your mother.

Is she a girly girl?  Some women are more into pink, bows, and hearts than others.  If your mom is what many would call a girly girl, she would enjoy any arrangement that features a cute animal, bright pink and purple flowers, or other traditional “girl” type things.

If, on the other hand, your mom loves gardening or working outdoors, you might want to look for a live plant or an arrangement that she can later plant outdoors.  This has the extra advantage of giving her a gift that will last for years instead of only a few weeks or so.  Every time she sees the lovely plant you got her, she will think of you.  If you want to get her a traditional bouquet, however, you might want to go with one that comes in a rustic basket and features bright blooms like sunflowers.

Anyone creative or artistic will like arrangements made up of very colorful flowers or exotic flowers.  You can also pick one of the wilder or expressive vases instead of a traditional glass vase.  Ask your florist to really get creative here or look at mixing and matching some flowers that you don’t traditionally see together.

If you know your mother’s favorite color (and every child should!), you can always base your flower selection around it.  Selecting flowers in that color and surrounding them with complimentary colored blooms can make the decision process easier, especially if you have a trained florist helping you.

These tips should get you started on the right path to selecting an arrangement that fits your mom’s personality.  If you need more help, consult with your florist.  He or she an help you create a custom-made arrangement that is perfect for your mother.

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Apr 27

Why Our Moms Mean So Much To Us

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and we’re all out searching for that perfect gift for mom.  But why do our moms mean so much to us?  What is it that makes Mother’s Day one of the most important holidays on the calendar?

First, there’s the obvious: our mothers gave birth to us.  Without them, we wouldn’t be in this world.  It only makes sense to honor the nine months and hours of labor (sometimes intense, painful labor!) that they went through to give us life. 

Another reason why our moms mean so much to us is that they spent years nurturing and raising us.  Some of us grew up with our moms staying home to raise us.  These moms spent their days cooking, cleaning, and taking care of all our needs.  Other moms went out into the workforce and made certain our lives were as comfortable as possible by earning a paycheck.  Still others had that which is nearly impossible: be a single mom.  These moms had to both be the breadwinners and had to do their best to raise us with sometimes little help from others.  No matter which type of mom you had, they worked very hard during the early years of your life.

Moms sacrifice a lot, but they also take great joy in their job as a parent.  They love us unconditionally, and for that, they become one of the people who mean an incredible amount to us.  They provide us comfort when we most need it, they cheer us on, and they’re always there with a kind word and a hug when we most need it.  Of course, they also aren’t afraid to discipline us when we most need it or let us know when we’ve stepped out of line, but that’s part of what makes them so special—even when, as rebellious teens, we “hate” our parents, we still love them deep down because they’re just doing what’s best for us.

It’s because of these many reasons and much more that our moms mean so much to us.  Don’t forget your mom this Mother’s Day, and don’t forget those who have been like second mothers, either.  Any woman who has nurtured you, supported you, and provided you with all the love and comfort you need should be honored this Mother’s Day.

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Apr 19

What do Administrative Professionals Do?

This week is Administrative Professionals Week, and it’s the time of year for executives and other office members to thank their hard working secretaries and other administrative professionals.  But what exactly do these administrative professionals do for you?

The short answer: everything!  Administrative professionals are often key personnel in your office.  Here are just a few duties administrative professionals perform on a daily basis:

  • Answering the phone.  Administrative professionals are usually the first line of contact with your office.  As such, they not only have to answer basic questions but they also usually end up dealing with upset and unhappy customers, too!  They also have to make all of those unpleasant outgoing calls that you don’t want to make, such as canceling meetings or letting your wife know you won’t be home for anniversary dinner.
  •  Coordinating events.  Someone has to make certain all of your guests have registered for an event, and that someone is usually your administrative assistant.  He or she also has to deal with catering, space rental, entertainment, travel and accommodations for out of town speakers, room setup, and much more.  Basically, without an administrative professional, you’d be left to handle all of the small details of an event yourself.  Do you really want to spend your day deciding what color napkins to use for an awards banquet?  Probably not.
  •  Scheduling.  When you look at your calendar and see all of those meetings and appointments you have, you may think it’s a miracle none of them conflict with anything else you have going on.  Well, it’s not a miracle—it’s just the attention to detail and hard work of your administrative professional.  It’s their job to make certain you’re not double-booked and that you have enough time to get from appointment to appointment.  They often have to coordinate schedules for your entire office, which is no easy task.
  •  Fixing the copier.  While it may sound like a small thing, what do you do when you’re copying something and there’s a paper jam or the toner is low?  Chances are, you go straight to your administrative professional and ask him or her to fix it!  Administrative professionals often serve as the first line of tech support, handling small, easy to fix problems with office equipment and even computers.  If they can’t fix it, they know who can, and they make the appropriate calls to get your technology working.
  •  Tracking expenses and income.  Administrative professionals are also often tasked with entering all of your expenses into the ledger.  This means they have to know accounting and the computer programs your office uses.  It also means that they are in charge of telling you when you can’t spend any more money, which is not a fun job!
  •  Doing it all.  Finally, administrative professionals may end up picking up any other odd job that needs done around the office.  This means they have to be highly flexible.  An administrative professional needs to know how to do everything from making coffee to faxing documents to creating large spreadsheets and detailed documents.  It’s not an easy job and when done well, no one really notices.  However, for those who have worked with a bad administrative professional, you know just how important it is that they know their job.  Great administrative professionals take a disorganized, inefficient office and make it into a well-oiled machine!
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