December 1, 2011

Wrapping Up More Than Presents

This is not the "I've Been Too Busy To Post" post.  Promise.

I thought, perhaps, I would rather write a "What I Have Been Up To Post" post.  October?  I hardly knew ye.  And November?  Did that really just happen?  Really?

Bridesmaid Bug notwithstanding, October was ridiculously FUN.  We did all the usual fall activities -- pumpkin patch, Boo-at-the-Zoo, pumpkin carvings, multiple dishings of pumpkin curry, a hayride and a bazillion trick-or-treating events, including the extravaganza that happens in our neighborhood every year.  Man, I love living in this suburban prairie, soul-sucking it may be.  Oh!  And we also celebrated Arun's birthday AND I ran slowly jogged the Waddell & Reed 5k (one of the best 5ks I've ever done -- GREAT course).

November?  Rose to the challenge of the gauntlet that October threw down.  I walked the Jeff Taylor 5k with Average Jane.  Later that day, I took the Team of Chaos to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live which was as awesome as Lance DJ fucking promised.  The next week, we went to the Shriner's circus which totally delivered.  The elephants provided Team Chaos' favorite act of the day by delivering huge, steamy piles of poo during their performance (Sidenote: I am still skeeved about the animal acts and allegations of animal cruelty.  Animal acts are NOT necessary and therefore, I remain conflicted about future circus attendances.)  I also attended a theatrical organ concert hosted by The Kansas City Theatre Pipe Organ group.  On the way home from that concert, I am pretty certain I was about to be carjacked, but I am not comfortable writing about it yet.  This is the 2nd time I have had a suspicious event like that happen in Kansas City in the past few years.  However, considering how often I go to Kansas City, I suppose those are still pretty damned good odds and I have no intentions of limiting our trips into the city Sigh.

December is shaping up to holding its own against October and November (I have a December Bucket List brewing)   Perhaps, it is the CPA in me, but overall, I simply adore 4th Quarter.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!

So!  As you can see, I haven't posted not for the lack of fodder, but simply because I did not feel like writing here.  I did, however, write in my journal for the month of November. Each evening, I took a minute to jot down the favorite part of my day.  It was a peaceful exercise, even on a few crummy days, to focus in on the little things in life that make It All Worthwhile.

Before I get back to my Words With Friends queue (ahem), I would like to give a shout-out to a locally owned business.  As many of you know, I crave handbags like a tweaker craves Walter White's Blue Sky.  For a few years now, I have been on the hunt for a red handbag, but I was looking for a particular shade of red -- a deep, deep hue. Awhile back, I began to think of going handmade instead of designer and  I was going to put a call out for local places to hunt (particularly, in Lawrence, KS).  Then, I noticed my sister Jill's handbag.  As I was inspecting the stitching and hardware, I spied the label.  It was none other than Dawn Shew of Growing a Pair, a fellow Kansas City blogger I have known for years.    She sells her bags in a shop in Lawrence, but she has an Etsy site, Seams Fine KS, for her bags.  I noticed that she did customs.  I decided to contact her since I was already impressed by the sturdy stitching, gorgeous fabric and quality hardware on my sister's purse.  A custom order would be perfect.  I contacted her about a custom order and we began talking fabric and exchanged some photos - I was really impressed with her advice for combining types of fabric in conjunction with colors -- all in relation to how the fabric will wear over the years

A week later and I now have the purse I have wanted for all these years:

The actual red is a just a tad darker and deeper than this shows.

Interior includes a zippered interior pocket and dual accessories pocket.  I love how the fabric is pretty thick and the bag has a "structure" to it -- it holds its shape and does not crumple.  Also, after all of my years buying designer bags, I am very particular about hardware.  The hardware on this really impressed me and the magnetic closure is really strong.
My Pretend Lawyer Made Me Write This: I paid full price for this bad boy and it was worth every penny. I did save on the shipping because I drove to Lawrence to pick up the bag personally, not because I am some Special Bloggy Type

There is such a huge movement toward buying local these days.  It's nice when it works out even better than buying from a department store!

Left on my local shopping list?  I need to troll the entire downtown of Lawrence KS, per my shopping tradition.  And most definitely, I will need a gander at Stuff and World's Window in Brookside.

Where is your favorite local Kansas City destination for holiday shopping?  I'm always on the hunt for new local goodies.


Melanie said...

ohhh... must come back to this post to read comments, I love to find local treasures and I go to Brookside every year during the holidays to shop.

Your bag is awesome!

Olivia said...

I was recently thinking about fun activities to take my kid(s) to in the future and the circus came to mind. Then I immediately got squicked out by the thought of animal acts and how those animals are carted from city to city...not sure how I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Olivia said...

P.S. That bag is purty! I'm a handbag hound, too. I've tried breaking the habit in the last couple of years, but I'm not succeeding. I just bought a lovely read bag from Penny's a couple weeks ago.

Unknown said...

You are totally killing me on WWF this round. I would blame the game, but I think it's mostly me.

I've only been to a circus once and I felt very bad for the animals. It was also a very lame circus and needed a lot more acrobatics and less clowns.

Custom bags are the best. I'm lucky I sew most of mine, or I would be in lots of debt!

LoriB said...

Thanks for the Etsy link. I may have just found the perfect Christmas gift for my niece. =) She asked for a Vera Bradley bag, but a one of kind Etsy purchase would be so much better (and less expensive).

Stuff is one of my favorite local haunts too. I also like 10,000 Villages in downtown OP (not local, but fair trade artisans) for unique home decor and jewelry, and lovely scarves. They also have some adorable animal mittens and stocking caps for the kiddos this season.