Craft Alliance Makers Ball

Just a few days ago, there was a wonderful event held in St. Louis called Makers Ball. This was an evening from Craft Alliance Center for Art + Design that celebrated makers and the power of craft. One reason I’m such a huge advocate of Craft Alliance is because they support the arts … which is too quickly disappearing in the educational world our children are raised in today. The proceeds from this event helped support the exhibition series and education programs at Craft Alliance and in turn, helps give new life to the crafters and arts in the communities around us.

Craft Alliance’s mission is to provide education and inspiration to a community of artists, student, collectors and overall art enthusiasts, nationally. They do so by offering free classes for both children and parents, supporting and showcasing artists’ work and encouraging those who collect art.

I’m lucky enough to be a few blocks away from one of Craft Alliance’s locations on the Delmar Loop in STL and think it’s a great opportunity for those anywhere, but especially in the STL area, to get involved creatively.

Makers Ball was just one event–there are so many other fun and crafty ways to ignite your creative juices with Craft Alliance. Here are some of the awesome highlights and best dressed from Makers Ball.

Best Dressed

Abida Farooqui & Yasmin Hakim

Abida Farooqui & Yasmin Hakim

Grace

Grace Kubilius, Craft Alliance Fiber Artist-in-Residence posing in front of her interactive panel weaving for auction at Makers Ball.

Jackie Chambers

Jackie Chambers, Craft Alliance Director of Development and Communications

Makers Ball Highlights

Grace & I

I was able to take on Grace Kubilius’s interactive weaving up for auction.

Featured Artist

Featuring handmade art, glass blowing.

Featured Artist

Craft Alliance featured artist, creating pottery.

Makers Ball

Shots of a packed house at #MakersBallSTL this year

Makers Mark

Bartender displaying Makers Mark, an event sponsor

From her collection, "Oh How I Love You," Grace Kubilius showcases her wearable arts of love at Makers Ball

From her collection, “Oh How I Love You,” Grace Kubilius showcases her wearable arts of love at Makers Ball

If you were unable to attend Makers Ball, you can donate here or sign up for a class here!

Afterwards, the husband and I were able to enjoy one of our favorites in STL, Central Table in the central west end. We got to enjoy their outside patio this time in the perfect, evening weather! A few foodie shots from our dinner as well:

Central Table

Central Table

Clover Sushi Roll

We started off with the Clover Sushi Roll

Lamb

Lamb Tortellini

Pork

Ginger Crusted Pork

Patio Seating

Visit Central Table on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at @CentralTableSTL

#HE is proud to team up with ALIVE Magazine to promote Craft Alliance Makers Ball and Central Table.

5 STL Mother’s Day Ideas

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1. The Ritz-Carlton offers a Mother’s Day Weekend Saturday Tea
At Saturday Tea, May 9, the Ritz-Carlton Chefs offer an event to honor mothers. With a decadent menu of mini-sandwiches, scones, sweet treats and a plethora of brewed teas, Mother’s Day Saturday Tea is relaxing, classy idea for a STL Mother’s Day gift.
The cost for this event is $49, or $39 for a cream tea experience (includes tea and scones only). Reservations are required and can be made by contacting 314.863.6300,–extension 433. To find out what other Mothers’ Day events are available, visit the Ritz-Carlton site.

2. Brunch at the Missouri History Museum’s Bixby’s

Bixby’s brunch will include locally-sourced ingredients for some of the gourmet favorites on the menu. There are three brunch opportunities on May 10–10am, 12pm and 2pm.
The cost for this event is $34.75–children are $16. Reservations can be made by contacting 314.361.7313, and more information can be found here.

3. Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair

From May 8–10, Laumeier Sculpture Park will host its annual art fair, offering moms and families several artists to check out along with activities and events everyone can enjoy. A Mother’s Day brunch presented by Whole Foods will also be held during the art fair on May 10 at 10:15am and 11:45am. Other special activities include Art of the Vine and Art of the Ale.
The cost for the art fair is $10–children ages 6–11 are $5. For more information or to find out more about the events and activities, visit Laumeier Sculpture Park’s site.

4. Get Crafty with CBS St. Louis’ Homemade Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas

Sometimes the best gifts aren’t bought, they’re made. Here are some simple, fun and crafty ideas for the little ones to contribute and create something special for mom. Check out CBS St. Louis’ Homemade Mother’s Gift guide.

5. Take a Photo or Make a Video for Mom around STL or right at Home

If getting crafty isn’t your–or your kids’–thing, why not use all the wonderful modern technology and city around us to your advantage? Take photos throughout the city or make an awesome video to show how much you care. There are even contests online that can honor and give mom some well-deserved recognition! A contest I recommend right now is one that shows appreciation for federal-employee mothers. This year, Harris Federal is hosting a “My Mom is a Federal Hero” Video Contest for Mother’s Day, where children can make a short clip explaining what their mom does at work and why she’s a “federal hero.” The winner receives a free Amazon Mom membership and a $1,000 Amazon gift card; two runner-ups also win $100 Amazon gift cards–both awesome Mother’s Day gifts!
For more information or to enter the “My Mom is a Federal Hero” Video Contest, click here. Deadline for this contest is Friday, April 24. Voting begins April 24 and runs through May 4. The winner will be announced on May 6.

 

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Wine, Spring and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, I’ll Toast to That

The weather hasn’t dropped below 30º in a few weeks and I’ve taken the little ones to the park for more than a couple consecutive days over the past two weeks, so I’ve decided it’s safe to say it’s finally Spring again!

Jaycees 100th Anniversary Wine Tasting

Toast to Spring Wine Tasting in honor of St. Louis Jaycees’ 100th Anniversary

In honor of Spring, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of St. Louis Jaycees and to raise money for their organization–which provides training, experience and leadership to St. Louis’ youth–Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Hyatt Hotel Downtown are co-hosting the “Toast to Spring” event this Friday from 6-9pm.

Because of this awesome event, the hubby and I are heading out on a date night to Ruth’s Chris “Toast to Spring” and look forward to enjoying a wine tasting with over 30 wines provided by Glazers, a plethora of signature food specialities like Kobe beef slides, shrimp voodoo, crab cakes, chicken skewers and–my absolute favorite–an assortment of desserts.

Here’s just a taste of the delicious food Ruth’s Chris has to offer…

Ruth's Chris Ruth's Chris Ruth's Chris Ruth's Chris

As an added bonus, there’s a silent auction guests are able to participate in during the event, and if you’re in the St. Louis area this weekend, “Toast to Spring” is a great night out! Tickets are $50 and a portion of all proceeds will go to St. Louis Jaycees, and in turn, will help support St. Louis’ youth. For more information or for reservations, contact 314.259.3200.

I hope to see you there! Comment and let me know your favorite type of wine and/or favorite date-night out!

This post is sponsored by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Midwest Influencer Network.
All opinions and experiences are my own. 

23 Tax Day Deals and Freebies in STL

Today, tax season is finally over, and to celebrate all the monies and stress relief that (hopefully) comes your way, grab a free bite or service in STL!

Taxes

Photo credit of Tax Credits

1. You know that stress relief I mentioned? Well, fast track it with a free massage at Hydro Massage.

2. Fellow mamas, or papas, can get $8 off a value box of Huggies or Pampers at Babies R’ Us.

3. Now that you’re done reading through all the meticulous tax information, grab a book to read from Barnes and Noble website at 20% off. [coupon code X8W8L3A]

4. Shred your annoying paperwork away at Office Depot for free.

5. Let it out with a song and a free meal at Hard Rock Cafe’s “Sing for your Supper” event.

6. Don’t even get out of your car. Just drive through a McDonald’s or Burger King for a buy-one, get-one on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders or Whoppers.

7. Grab a bite at Outback Steakhouse for 15% off.

8. Get $6 off a dinner for two at Oliver Garden

9. Another buy-one, get-one deal is available at Boston Market.

10. Along with getting your taxes back, get a chance to win a pizza back with Pizza Hut’s “Pizza Return.”

11. Indulge in a warm, gooey sugar cookie from Great American Cookies for free.

12. With the phrase “mid-week buddy pass” enjoy a buy-one, get-one Bacon Jalapeno Queso Burrito at Qdoba.

13. White Castle is offering a 15% discount on all orders.

14. Kona Ice will be at Western County St. Charles Chamber of Commerce with free cups of tropical shaved ice and Hawaiian leis until 1:30pm.

15. With the purchase of a 32-ounce drink and bag of chips, get a free, small “The Original” sandwich at Schlotzsky’s.

16. Tell the cashier, “Taxes Schmaxes” at California Tortilla for a free helping of queso and chips!

17. If you dine at Tony Roma’s today, you can get a coupon for a free red velvet cake dessert next time you head in during April.

18. Free potato cakes and curly fries all day via an Arby’s near you in STL!

19. Two free Cinnabon bites today from 6–8pm at Cinnabon.

20. All-night happy hour specials and reduced prices on appetizers at McCormick & Schmick’s!

21. All day happy hour at Sonic–woot, woot!

22. Head over to Sweet Tomatoes for a buy-one, get-one meal deal.

23. At Mr. Goodcents, grab a complete meal (sandwich, drink and chips or cookies) for $4 and some change.

 

 

 

Help Me Become The Official #ExploreStLouis Ambassador

EDIT: The winners have been announced and although Homemade Experience is not one of them this year, I’m so happy for the 5 who’ve qualified to move forward! Congratulations to…

People’s Choice Winner
Jillian Pye, ALittleSliceofPye.com

Judge’s Choice Winners
Carmen Boeser, TheRubyZipper.com
Jill Firns, StilettosOnSundayMorning.com
Amy Latta, AmyLatta.com
Denise Bertacchi, STLMotherhood.com
__________________________________________

Calling all the lovely St. Louisians and beyond! I need your help becoming the next St. Louis Ambassador of 2015 with Explore St. Louis!

As a part of a new and exciting year, Explore St. Louis is hosting an awesome event on April 30. During the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s annual Be A Tourist In Your Own Town event, you can come and see why St. Louis is such an amazing city to live and enjoy. From 10am–2pm at Ballpark Village, come enjoy refreshments, prizes, music and so much more!

How can you participate? Well, this year Explore Saint Louis–along with KDSK, ALIVE Magazine and the Midwest Influencer Network–has put together a cool competition that allows a select amount of people to try their best to show what St. Louis is all about. The “Official Explore St. Louis Summer Ambassador Search,” as it’s called, is a competition that will allow you and select others to decide who best represents St. Louis and the idea of being a tourist in your own city. Some of the applicants videos are available for the people’s choice vote, and . . .

You can vote for me by clicking here and scrolling to the “Official Ballot” at the bottom!

You can also share the word about the next St. Louis Ambassador and check out Explore St. Louis to find out more about this lovely city.

I believe Homemade Experience represents so many aspects of St. Louis. I, personally, am a creator and writer who strives to tap into the creative flow of the city by checking out local crafts, artists and music at places like COCA, The Pageant and the Peabody Opera House–just to name a few. My husband and I love to eat, drink and have a good time with friends around the city; some of our favorite places include Blueberry Hill, Bailey’s Range, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Ballpark Village/Busch Stadium. Beyond that, I have a family with two young children, so we’re constantly parading around STL checking out the best kid-friendly and family-loving attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo, museums, Forest Park and so much more. While enjoying my city, I love to share my experiences and write about them here, which is why I would be so honored and overjoyed to represent St. Louis!

I have to be honest, though–there is absolutely NO way I can fit everything that I love about my beautiful city in the 20 second video above. So, here are just a few more reasons I’m a huge advocate for STL along with some of the attractions and reasons you can enjoy it too!

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Of course, St. Louis wouldn’t be complete without the Gateway Arch.

 

MWINetwork

The Midwest Influencer Network is a seriously great network to be a part of as a St. Louis–or any area–blogger looking to learn and connect. Check it out!

Plowsharing Crafts

All the local crafts and beautiful makers that are part of St. Louis. This is from Plowsharing Crafts on The Loop.

Photo

The GORGEOUS architecture, buildings and photo opportunities throughout this wonderful city.

Elephant

The captivating animals at the well-known and free Saint Louis Zoo.

Easter

Eckert’s Country Store and Farms just outside of St. Louis, and their lovely Easter Egg-citement event each year.

Click any of the photos above to visit the attraction’s website. And don’t forget to share, like and chat about my post!

 

 

Little Eyes Are Watching

Note: I advise you to scroll down a bit and press play on the YouTube song before you start reading– listening and reading, it’s the way to go.

When I was a little girl, I used to race out of the double doors of my elementary school and onto the playground to grab one of the six swings before anyone else. I’d swing as high as I possibly could with not a thing to worry about in life–it was pure bliss. Each time I was swinging in the sunlight, higher and higher, smiling from ear to ear, I would long for the people I cared for most to be watching. I had this urge for the people that I loved to one day just be at the fence of my playground watching me in all of my glory, content and proud. It was just a simple, childhood wish that I never shared with anyone.

Years later, I was a teenager, hanging out with my cool friends in my cool clothes talking about cool stuff. Sometimes I would say or do something I thought was so grown up or intelligent, and in those moments, I wished that any of the people I cared for most would have been there to see me, basking in all my grown-up coolness.

When I had my first heartbreak, it was monumental. I wished the person I most respected were alive to help me, to see me, to witness it–my grandma. I talked to her everyday and never expected or received a response.

When my husband and I had our first child, there were moments when something beautiful happened to strengthen the motherly bond between myself and my daughter. Each time, I wished my mother or my husband could be there to witness it. To be proud. To smile.

After graduating from college, I had put my career on hold to start my family. Eventually, I began taking steps towards my dreams again–doing it all. There was a professor during my college years who had scooped me up and nurtured my talent into something I could never thank him for enough. I received a competitive position in my field and wished he’d been there to see it, to be proud of what he’d helped me accomplish.

Yesterday, while listening to Priscilla Ahn’s “Dream,” I had flashbacks to all of these times in my life when I wished that one of the people I cared for most had been there to witness me, in all my glory, doing something that I know would make them, simply, happy.

As I turned around–reminiscing, singing, cooking, content–I saw my son … watching me bask in all my glory. My unspoken wish finally came true and I realized, as a mother, that will continue to happen for the rest of my life: little eyes watching me, learning, taking me in, smiling.

Watching

Little eyes are watching.

It makes me beyond happy and proud to catch a surreal glimpse of that. And to reciprocate what I’d repeatedly felt throughout my life during simple everyday occurrences or monumental moments.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

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Go Blog Social: Three Things I Learned

1. I’m a true awkward loner when not accompanied by a comrade, and nothing brings it out like networking. I think Zooey Deschanel “Jess” in this clip encompasses me fairly well…

I just do not possess the personality or vibe that draws people in. I’ve got to try–really hard, and that’s okay. I like a challenge, and as one of our awesome speakers pointed out, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

2. I need to invest in a jean jack. Seriously. I think at least half of the people I saw had some sort of jean jacket on during the two day event.

3. There are some amazing bloggers and experts out there and so many of them shared their success tidbits in Kansas City this weekend. I learned more than I could have ever imagined from being able to attend Go Blog Social. Keep scrolling to learn all about it!

Sign

“Go Blog Social ahead”

This past weekend, I had the awesome opportunity to attend the Go Blog Social conference in Kansas City via Visit KC and the Midwest Influencer Network.

Inspiration

Creators and inspirers behind Go Blog Social. Pictured above (from left to right) are Katelyn Herlein, Samantha McClelland, Sarah Ruhlman and Kathryn Snellen.

Go Blog Social is a conference created and put into action by six lovely ladies–four of whom are pictured above–who’ve designed the conference to “inform, educate and inspire” by bringing together bloggers and brands along with social media and business experts to share their expertise.

Day one speakers

Day one speakers included Alissa Circle of Diary of an Addict (top left), Andra Barkey and Kelly Zugay of With Grace and Gold (bottom left), Alea Bębenek of Alea Lovely (bottom middle), Kilee Nickels of One Little Momma and Nickel & Suede (bottom right) and Laurie Davis of eFlirt Expert (top right).

Day one included five wonderful presentations from Alissa Circle, Andra Barkey & Kelly Zugay, Alea Bębenek, Kilee Nickels and Laurie Davis. Each one of these women talked about their personal story in the blogging/career world and what it takes to be noticed. Mostly, be authentic. There may be thousands of bloggers and creatives out there, but there’s only one you. People can appreciate that.

Day two speakers

Day two speakers included Mandy Beveler of Sugar Bee Crafts (top left), Enza Ketcham of Enza’s Bargains (bottom left), Landon & Meggan Wood of Lily Jade (bottom right) and Callie England of Rawxies (top right).

Day two included more amazing tips but with an emphasis on personal businesses. Speakers included Mandy Beveler, Enza Ketcham, Landon & Meggan Wood and Callie England sharing their inspiring stories on persistence and passion.

The Crowd

Socializing at Go Blog Social

I left this conference feeling empowered and happy to be on the right track. So many people think blogging is simple–like we sign on whenever we feel like it and spend five minutes throwing together a post–but the truth is it takes a lot of time and a ton of effort. Whether that time and effort be from taking photos, talking to people, researching, linking, social media-ing, being consistent, interacting, the list goes on and on. Blogging is a full time job for many. I hear you non-bloggers snickering and rolling your eyes, but really, it’s an investment to create something–truly–and do it well, whether it be writing, designing, taking photos or having an online presence, and blogging encompasses them all.

GBS

Stay connected at #GBS2015 #goblogsocial #MWINetwork or @VisitKC

During and after the two-day Go Blog Social event, I was able to bask in the wonder that is my home town. Yes, that’s right, I’m a KC lady at heart. Here are some of the LOVEly places I was able to enjoy while at home:

P&L

Always a little too much fun had at Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

Ambassador Hotel

A gorgeous and relaxing place to rest my head at night with Ambassador Hotel–courtesy of Visit KC.

Royals

Seated at Kauffman Stadium watching my boys in blue [Royals] win, yet again.

 #HE is proud to team up with MWIN in promotion of Go Blog Social!