Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Free Menu Template!

My husband and I got married at the Weston Red Barn Farm in Weston, Missouri. We placed one of these menu cards at each place setting. Please feel free to use and print for your own use. Click here to download.

Notes about the template:
  • The template is set-up for 5.5 by 8.5 - meaning you could cut your 8.5 X 11 paper in half and print at home. The page layout in my word is called, "Statement." 
  • The google document loses the font selections, so be sure to actually download it and open it to your computer. The cool font should show up again once you download. Should you have any trouble, I am happy to email it to you.

Enjoy :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Monday: Easter Wreath

Introducing...Craft Nights!

This is a really fun project and I am delighted to announce this will be our project at March's craft night. If you haven't heard, Kansas Gal will be hosting monthly craft nights. Our first craft night will be held on Friday March 15 6:30-8 PM and will feature this craft PLUS a surprise bonus craft. That's two crafts for the price of one! All supplies will be provided and wine will be served. 

Register online here today! I look forward to seeing everyone in March for craft night! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday, blog readers! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

I know you all live busy lives - many of you are full time moms and dads, some of you run your own businesses, and many more work full time jobs to support your families - it means so much to me that you would take time to read my blog. Thank you! Since this blog is for readers, or as PBS would say, "viewers like you," (hehehe) let me know what you would like to see here. I would love to hear what kinds of projects and crafts you are interested in.

<---this is me asking...

"What projects and crafts would you like to read about?"

Here in the midwest we are supposed to get even more snow than we did last week. Kansas City got 9 inches (yikes!) and now the national weather service predicts we could get upwards of 10 inches on top of our 9 inches. This means I will be working from home and then when my work is done, working on crafts! Now is the perfect time to let me know what you want to see!

Thank you, again for stopping by. Stay warm and safe!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shake yo booty Saturday: Insanity Update

A few weeks ago I posted an initial review of Insanity. I have been doing Insanity for a little over a month and will be starting month two on Monday. VERY nervous. But excited about the progress so far!

Day 1/Day 31 
148 pounds/144 pounds 

Day 1/Day 31 
Waist 31 inches/29 inches 
Hips 40/39 
Neck 13/12.5 
Right Arm 12.3/12.3 
Left Arm 12.5/12.3 
Right thigh 24/23 
Left thigh 23/23 

Total inches lost: 4.7 inches! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Follower Fridays/Pinterest of the Week!

Hey everybody! Happy Friday! Thank you to all the new followers and likes on G+ and Facebook. Welcome to my interwebs world.

Here are my top five pinterest finds this week:

#5: lace window screens!

#4: Super easy DIY frame tray

#3: Chewie Brown Sugar Oat/Cocoanut Cookies

#2: Beautiful spring party setting - multi colored - love this!

and #1: AT AT doggie costume. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Ibotta

My friend, +kara Jursich, started using an app called Ibotta and suggested I start using it to save money in addition to coupon savings. All the user must do is set-up an account, then browse the offers:

Next, the user answers a poll or watches a video or shares on facebook to earn the savings:

Then, shop for your items at one of the listed stores:

After you've shopped for the items, you take a photo of your receipt and the savings are credited to your account after some processing time. Imagine the savings of coupons in addition to Ibotta? I'm excited to try this out! Thanks Kara!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Paper Doily Bunting

While planning our wedding, I saw lots of ideas online for rustic decorations and one of my favorites was the idea of a paper doily bunting. I got the inspiration from a great blog called Burlap & Lace.

Here is how our version turned out:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Served On My Table Tuesday: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

It sounds and looks pretty good, right? I may have mentioned already, but we are trying to eat healthier. We have started meal planning and have seen huge savings in our wallets and bellies. So we thought we'd give this idea a shot...

...I researched a lot of recipes to make sure I had the keys to success down-pat (eggs, cauliflower, and cheese + herbs or any crazy touches you want to add). I decided I would use basil, oregano, feta cheese, cottage cheese, and mozzarella for my crust.

It wasn't terrible. I am serious, it tasted pretty good - for cauliflower - but it just wasn't for us. Neither one of us really like cauliflower anyway. We did end up eating some of it for lunches this week.

PLUS when you're craving pizza, you're craving PIZZA, not cauliflower. Sometimes it's better just to order out.

Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY Monday: St. Patrick's Day Wreath

Last week this wreath was the giveaway prize for the Thrifty Thursday contest! Congratulations, again Paula DeSeure!

Here is the step-by-step DIY to make your very own!

Supplies (all can be purchased at your local craft store - I went to Hobby Lobby):
Brown wreath
Burlap ribbon
White flower garland
Gold branch accents
Yellow branch accents
Glittered shamrock accent
Hot glue gun

1. Heat up your hot glue gun

2. Wrap the white floral garland to the front of the wreath - I had to hot glue as I went around because the garland was not wire so I had to keep it glued in place before I moved to the next curve in the wreath.

3. Decorate the wreath with your yellow/gold accents and your shamrock accent

4. Tie burlap ribbon through the middle of the branches on the wreath (to keep in one place) and hang!

VERY easy DIY and cute door decor for this coming St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Follower Friday's and Pinterest of the Week!

Thank you to my new four followers and to the 50 ish G+ followers and 37 facebook likes! HOORAY!

Happy Friday! WOO!! Here are my top five pinterest finds of the week:

#5: Chocolate Frozen Yogurt!

#3: Hiring an artist to paint your wedding while it's happening. Brilliant! Artistic Interpretation

#2: Spring umbrella wreath (how cute!)

and #1: Star Wars party place-setting (noticing a trend with each week's number 1 spot?)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursdays: Aldi

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY HUSBAND, KYLE!!! I hope everyone has a day filled with love - even if not from a significant other, take some time to spread love and kindness by...

  • smiling at a stranger
  • greeting your coworkers with a bright "hello, how has your day been so far?" or other small talk
  • buy your coworkers lunch
  • calling your parents, tell them you love them
  • calling your siblings, tell them you love them
  • buy a pack of old school valentine's and give them out to your coworkers or friends - they will get a kick out of it!

Now...onto Thrifty Thursdays! Today is also the last day to enter the giveaway! See details here.

For those readers who have the pleasure of being located near an Aldi's grocery, you may understand my recommendation today. We recently discovered Aldi and saved big money on our grocery bill.

We spent $48 dollars and purchased the following for this week:

2 pounds ground turkey
1 pound pork chops
3 avacados
2 bell peppers
baby carrots
2 cucumbers
1 bag of sweet potatoes (8 potatoes)
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
1 bag clementines
cottage cheese
Baby Bell cheese
2 bags no sugar added frozen fruit (one strawberry, one mixed)
pasta sauce
1 can refried beans

Aldi, pretty impressive. You've made believers out of us!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Vintage Mis-matched Plates

Before Wedding Wednesday, remember you have until tomorrow to enter the Thrifty Thursday giveaway! See details here.

As I mentioned last week we sought to create a rustic, comfortable feel for our wedding. One of the ways we did this was through mis-matched plates. Each place setting looked a little different than the next.

This was one idea I had early on that I HAD to make happen. We spent months going to thrift stores and purchasing all the plates - totaling 300! I still have all of them - if you are interested in using them for your event and you are in the KC area, let me know :-)

All photos taked by Kaitlin Colston Photography:

Here is a link to another blog that highlights some other weddings and events who have done the same thing:

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Served On My Table Tuesday: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Before I jump into today's recipe, remember you have until Thursday to enter the Thrifty Thursday giveaway! See details here.

My husband and I are working hard to eat healthier and prepare more meals at home. This weekend we  enjoyed turkey stuffed bell peppers!

Ingredients (for two, adjust accordingly for more)

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Salsa
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 2 microwaveable brown rice cups
  • Salt and pepper
  • Some sprinkles of shredded cheese


1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
2. Cut the tops of the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. Note: We like our veggies crunchy so we didn't boil them before baking. If you like your peppers soft, boil them for a few minutes before filling them up and baking.

3. Cook the turkey with salt and pepper in a skillet
4. While the turkey cooks, microwave the rice and combine with Parmesan cheese, salsa, and oats in a medium size bowl - set aside.

5. After the turkey is cooked thoroughly, add the turkey to the rice mixture
6. Sprinkle some shredded cheese in the bottom of the peppers

7. Stuff the peppers and spring some shredded cheese on top - bake for until cheese is melted.

8. Eat it!

Monday, February 11, 2013

DIY Monday: Family Tree

Before I share today's DIY, remember you have until Thursday to enter the Thrifty Thursday giveaway! See details here.

About a month after our wedding, I received the following touching email from Kyle's grandfather Curt:

Letter to Erin
              Welcome to the Horst family. I just wanted you to know about our heritage. We are decedents of the Mayflower passengers John Billington, Peter Brown and Francis Cooke. Your children would be the 14th generation decedents. We have cousins, Presidents Ulysses s Grant, Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwhite Eisenhower, and both Bushes. Also maybe even John Wayne. We also have a line to Royalty in France about 1000 AD. Named Eudes, De Rie. How about that! 
              Our Family tree needs to be filled in on your Family. If you wanted to give me some information that would be great, if not that is OK to. I would need your Birth date and place and your mother and fathers full names, birthdays and places, also where they were married and when.

                                           Thanks   Grandpa   Curtis Horst  AKA (Curt)
              P.S. Please don’t call the grammar police on me. I’m just a old construction worker.

Not only was I touched that Grandpa Curt was interested in my family history, but I was so excited by all the information he had! How incredible to know exactly where your family came from! So I took the "blue pill" started falling down the rabbit hole on

I spent hours and hours compiling information, looking at old records, essentially traveling back in time in some cases to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. I discovered thousands of mine and Kyle's great grandparents. It was an incredible journey.

After discovering and compiling our rich family histories, I wanted a way to display and share it with our friends and future children. A few ideas popped into my head...a large wall mural like Sirius Black's family had in Harry Potter or a framed wall display...I decided these grand-type displays would not be feasible in our 1500 square foot rented apartment. So I will save these ideas for some day when we have a home and have a bit more space to play around with a larger display of family history. I settled on a large poster board, going back three generations and highlighting older, more prominent relatives towards the top. This is how it turned out:

And here is how I made it. NOTE: this is a very time consuming project - I have spent about 4 months on the first few steps.

  • or other resource
  • Large brown poster board
  • Nice black pen to write with
  • Stamp with lines and a cloud border
  • "family" cardboard cutout letters
  • Our family tree book from Barnes and Noble
  • Brown stamp pad
  • Photo paper
  • Glue stick
  • Framing supplies - I bought two wooden rods and used wood glue and nails to attach it to the sides to make it look like a scroll

1. Research, research, research! Make sure you have a clear picture how many generations backwards and some key historical figures - if you search far back enough, you find some cool things! Just think, you have hundreds of 11th great grandparents...

2. Document the relatives and stories in the Family Tree book

3. Stamp the tree on the poster board

4. Fill in the information in your best hand-writing (which is not great, but hey! it makes it look more real)

5. Add photos of prominent historical family members at the top of the tree

6. Paint the "family" cardboard cutout a dark red color to match our decor.

7. Frame the poster board - you could use a poster sized frame - or I got a little crazy and tried to make it look like a scroll with two wooden rods.

8. Create a wall display and savor the richness of your own family history! Here it is glowing with my tea lights:

Granted, there are still some big holes on my dad's side - his mother's father was born on a reservation and we have very little records of him. We also have few records of his father's Belgian family. There is still much research to do! But the cool thing about family history research is that you can also pick it up anytime and add to it as the years go by.

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Liebster Award!

Happy Sunday, Kansas Gal readers!

I have been overwhelmed by the number of friends and new friends showering the blog with comments and shares – I appreciate all of you and am so happy to hear you are enjoying the entries. Thank you!

On Friday, All in the Details, awarded Kansas Gal the Liebster Award! 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Liebster, it is awarded to new blogs with less than 200 followers. It’s a way to get the word out about great, up and coming blogs, I am honored to be selected by Leeane for the award! Thank you!

Award recipients keep the love going by following these steps in awarding to more new bloggers:
  1. Each awarded blogger posts 11 random facts about themselves
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for bloggers you pass the award to
  3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) and pass the award (and link) to them in your post.
  4. Go to their page and them them about the award
  5. No tag backs

My 11 random facts:
  • I love Star Wars. I am obsessed.
  • While I love to cook complicated recipes, my absolute favorite guilty pleasure foods are very plain: cheese pizza, bean and cheese burritos, chocolate chip cookies, and velveeta cheese dip. (swooooon)
  • My favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake
  • I live in a downtown, urban neighborhood, but I would love to live in the country like some of relatives do
  • I would prefer to be barefoot all the time, that is, if my feet weren’t gross
  • Guilty pleasure tv show: The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  • I’m a big fan of bluegrass music. My bachelorette party was at a bluegrass music festival.
  • I love being outdoors. I like to get dirty.
  • I have run a half marathon – running another in April
  • I live across within a block of three antique stores, including the best antique store in Kansas City – it has four floors and is massive.
  • I don’t care if they are the worst team in baseball, I will be a Royals fan until I die.

All About the Details questions for me:
  1. Where do you find inspiration [or what inspires you most]? Walking around my neighborhood or apartment building. I have the craftiest neighbors!
  2. What do you want from your blog? I hope to connect with people on a fun and meaningful level. The internet has become such a powerful mode of communication, but can lose that personal touch. I hope to share a bit of myself and learn from others on a real level.
  3. Blogger or Wordpress? Why? Blogger because I use google more frequently. It connects easily with G+ and facebook/twitter.
  4. How do you feel about Pinning your own DIY posts? I do it! Absolutely! For a new blog, how are people supposed to find out about you? I have no problem plugging my ideas, not because I think they are the best or amazing, but who knows – someone might find them interesting! You have to put yourself out there.
  5. Favorite Season? Why? This is tough. I love spring, but I also love fall – I also love summer. I definitely do not love winter.
  6. Best part about blogging is...finding new ideas, discovering new blogs, learning about people.
  7. How many email accounts do you have? Three – one work, one blogger/crafter, and one personal
  8. Best age of your life so far? 26! I got married this year :)Average time you spend on a blog post? 1-2 hours. My entries are shorter. This one has taken me a lot longer.
  9. Favorite beverage? Champagne/sparkling wine.
  10. One thing you never leave home without? Water bottle.

Blogs I am nominating:

Bloggers, here are your questions!
  1. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  2. What are you most proud of and why?
  3. If you had a whole day without any commitments and could do anything, what would you do or how would you spend your day?
  4. If you could time travel, what time period would you visit and where?
  5. What is your favorite dessert?
  6. Would you prefer to spend your spare time with people or by yourself?
  7. Why did you start blogging?
  8. Did you make a new years resolution? If so, what was it and why? If not, why?
  9. How many blogs do you read regularly?
  10. If you were to design a music festival with only five artists, who would you invite?
  11. What is your favorite book and why?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Shake yo booty! Insanity, a review

Hey everyone! Here are the links to the two blogs I mentioned in my entry yesterday: Cup of Ti and Color Me Pretty Run Me Beautiful.

It started with late night infomercials, then seeing it online, then having friends try it out and get results, and then pretty soon I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Insanity in the mail. Here are my observations thus far:
  • I am on day 27 and have already seen a real change in my cardio ability - aka, I can work harder longer
  • I am noticing some changes in definition
  • No weight loss...yet
  • It reminds me of volleyball practice in high school
  • Not everyone would enjoy this workout
  • Support is absolutely KEY
I think the most important thing to have while doing the Insanity workouts is support - I was lucky enough to find a wonderful online community of folks all on the same journey. So knowing that I had a group to be accountable to makes a huge difference. That being said, putting the DVD in the player each day has been a struggle. I have missed one work-out thus far, but I have heard of folks missing many more. We will see where I end up after the last 30 days.

I hope everyone has a great Saturday! Remember, you have until Valentine's Day to enter the St. Patrick's Day wreath giveaway! Look back to Thursday for instructions. :-)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pinterest of the Week / Follower Fridays!

Disclaimer: these are my personal choices for the best of the week on pinterest. I am sure everyone is different :)

Top five pinterest finds this week! Enjoy!

3. Over the big moon decor transformations - on one side pumpkins on the other ornaments! BRILLIANT!

and the number one pinterest find, STAR WARS behind the scenes photos! (btw, I am a HUGE Star Wars nerd - welcome to my world)