The Happiness Report: 10-19-2020

I know, I know, I know…it’s been a long while since I published a Happiness Report! (Facepalm) See what had happened was…I took the week of our vacation off, and that just continued for a few more weeks as I got busy and preoccupied. But assure you, it was not because there was a lack of happiness. Quite the contrary! But I did notice that without reflection and cataloging, it’s easy to lose sight of all the positive things in your life. As this pandemic continues much longer than we anticipated, and we approach a tumultuous election, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything that is going wrong or to think that the sky is falling. Well, Chicken Little, my challenge to you is to keep track of the happy things. Make a list and refer to it often. Because not every day is good, but there sure is something good in every day.

Here’s what’s been rocking my world the last few days:

1. Breakfast Date. Last Monday was a bank holiday, so I had the day off from work. Shockingly I hadn’t filled my calendar with tasks, so I asked Chad if he could go into work a little later so we could grab breakfast together. Shack just opened in Lenexa, and they invited me in for a visit, so we took advantage and grabbed a morning date. The staff was so friendly, and the food was delicious. But the best part was starting my day, uninterrupted with my guy, enjoying some sweet time together.

2. Lunch Date. Okay so I know that I said that I didn’t stack my day off calendar with appointments and tasks, but having meals with people I love hardly seems like a burden. So last Monday, I kept the dine out train rolling and had lunch with my friend Mindy. Chances are, if you found me because you love my Kansas City adventures, you probably follow Mindy too. Because @KansasCityBucketList is my recommendation for anyone wanting the best KC content, and it has been for years. Not only does Mindy operate this successful account, but she is also very generous with her time, resources, and connections and has become kind of an informal “influencer mentor” for me, but more importantly a friend. Additionally, Mindy works for City Lifestyle and is the one that got me roped into being a contributor. She had asked if she could do a story on our family for National Adoption Month, and I used it as an excuse to go to lunch. We met at Chez Elle, which has been on both of our bucket lists for a long time. It’s such a fun spot in our city, and the crepes did not disappoint.

3. Business Tour. The very first event that I went to when I became a blogger/influencer was in February 2019, and it was a popup photo shoot. I was so very nervous to attend, and I had no idea what I was walking into that day. And I never could have known that the girls I would meet would wind up being some of my closest friends. At that event, I met a woman named Callen that owned a business called Sour Lemon, which is an Apple Cider Vinegar beverage. Have y’all ever tried ACV? Gross. And ouch. I always hear that it has so many great health benefits, but I just can’t choke it down. But Sour Lemon found a way to flavor ACV and make it delicious! At that time, they were only operating as a pop up and brewing in their kitchen. But last week, I stopped by to visit their bottling and distribution center! It is so incredible and inspiring to see how much they have grown in such a short amount of time!

4. Perfect Fall Night. There is a local PR firm, and if an invite from them ever hits my inbox, I make every effort to attend. The passion and dedication they have for the businesses they support always manifests itself into these unique, immersive experiences. Last week, they invited me to a small event at Affäre, to enjoy a wine tasting and light bites. We sat out on the patio, which is one of the best hidden gems in this city. The weather was perfect, and it was such a special night.

5. A Sweet Celebration. When you look forward to becoming a mom, there are things you picture, moments you imagine, and celebrations you can’t wait to have. One thing that I’ve always looked forward to celebrating is my child’s half birthdays. I love any excuse to celebrate and make memories, and I see this as such a fun thing to make special. Jack’s Half Birthday was on Saturday, and it was the perfect excuse for a family fun day. His breakfast was served with a candle, and he wished for a cupcake. (My child for sure.) We were lazy in the morning, and then we hit the road. We drove to the Iron District for lunch and ice cream, and then we went to watch the choo choos, which are Jack’s current obsession. He is still talking about his fun adventure and keeps saying, “Thank you for my candle!”

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Don’t forget to make that list! You’re gonna need it!


Molly B.

Kansas City Fashion Week, September 2020

For the second year in a row, I was given the honor of covering Kansas City Fashion Week as part of their media team.

Kansas City Fashion Week features local, national, and international designers, in two full weeks of premier runway shows. Additionally, they give opportunities to stylists, make-up artists, models, and photographers to showcase their work in a creative format.

Both years that I’ve attended, KCFW shows were hosted in the Grand Hall at Union Station, which is the perfect setting! But like with everything else, 2020 had to look a little bit different, due to the spikes of COVID cases. KCFW worked with Union Station on a modified plan for Kansas City Fashion Week and took things virtual. Initially, you might think, “How?” But I assure you, the experience was still very immersive, and you felt like you were right in the front row, while staying healthy and safe.

This year, I watched two of the shows from the comfort of my home and pajamas, which was really an ideal situation, if I’m honest. But the Saturday night show, the Finale, I attended a small gathering for KCFW staff and media, and it was fun to put on a dress, do my hair and makeup, and to watch the catwalk with some other fashion lovers.

We all know by now that I love fashion—the clothing, the accessories, the hair and makeup, everything. So when I was given this opportunity, I was pumped! But more than anything, I love to look at runway styles and use them as inspiration for everyday looks. In this post, I’m breaking down the Top Ten Trends that were on repeat on the KCFW runway, as well as how you can incorporate them into your closet.

1. Bright Colors. Your girl LOVES color, so I was thrilled to see so much on the runway! But I also know that most people find comfort in an all-black aesthetic. So if you’re not big on color, start small. Incorporate pops of color with a fun pair of shoes, a bright cardigan or jacket, or a fun camisole. And if you’re already a color-lover, this is your time to shine! (Literally…)

2. Classic Silhouettes with Dramatic Details. An A-line dress, a classic pair of slacks, an oxford shirt, all still on trend, always and forever. But add a little edge. A fun pattern, some added texture, any bit of added interest to a style you already love.

3. Animal Print. Thank you, fashion gods, for keeping me in fashion! Over the past few years, I have amassed quite the collection of feline-inspired garments (leopard is totally a neutral…), so I was happy to see that this trend will continue. But don’t stop at the leopard, zebra, cheetah, pythons, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my, it all works!

4. Workwear. This may sound funny since most people are working from home and therefore ditching their regular professional attire, but it was a repeater on the runway. My favorite way to incorporate this trend is a good blazer. You can dress it up or down, throw it on with a dress or a graphic tee, it all works!

5. Accessories. Hats, statement jewelry, fun shoes, they were all alive and well on the catwalk. I’m a big accessories gal, so I was happy to see this. My favorite thing right now is my growing collection of hats. When I don’t feel like fixing my hair (which is often), I throw on a hat with a low bun, and it instantly makes me feel more polished and stylish.

6. Loungewear. Literally no one is surprised by this. As we are all spending more time at home, and we will be for the foreseeable future, we could have all guessed that this would continue to trend. I love a good matching set, and my personal preference is long sleeves and long pants, because house temps are hard to regulate, so if you’re cold, you’re set, and if you’re hot, just roll up those sleeves!

7. Lingerie-Inspired. Oo La La. Corsets, Fishnet, Cutouts, all over this season’s styles. So yes, you could just walk around in your cute undies (again, you’re not going anywhere). But if you want to take this trend out on the town (and not get in any legal trouble), the lace bralette is a great piece that can incorporate this trend without giving away all your goodies. I like to wear them with an off the shoulder sweater, or a backless dress, anything that shows a little extra skin.

8. Leather. Jackets, dresses, skirts, shorts, any style you can imagine, but make it leather. There are so many ways to incorporate more leather into your life. But my number one vote, always and forever, is a leather jacket. You will never regret adding one to your closet. You can dress it up, dress it down, add some edge to any look, the versatility is endless.

9. Graphic Prints. This was a really fun addition to this season’s lineup. There were formal gowns, jackets, and tops with big graphic prints. And it’s so easy to incorporate this into your current style, because graphic tees are everywhere! I am loving them and wear them several times a week! I even wrote a blog post with several ways to style them.

10. Military-Inspired. This trend comes and goes so much, and it was fun to see it back again. I remember my early 90s incorporation of this in the form of combat boots with my sundress. Combat boots back in a big way, so you can definitely grab a pair to wear the look. But my recommendation is a military jacket. Whether it is basic military green, camo print, patches on the sleeve, whatever you choose, you will be so happy with your purchase and will wear it on repeat.

For more information on this season, you can visit the Kansas City Fashion Week website, or you can check out any of the designers (list below for reference).

Thursday – September 24th

Kyndra Jade

Jaqui Co.

Hannah Kristina Designs

Altar’d State – Oak Park Mall

Annette Sunshine Designs

Just Bee by Bex

Olive Martini Designs

Rachel Pollak

Friday – September 25th

Zuri Perle

Vivi Design Studio

Sarah Solnet

Daria’s Dress

Kindred – Oak Park Mall

Gracie Key Designs

Shannon Lehman

Lauren Bander

Laura Citron

Saturday – September 26th


Duane Topping

Rissa’s Artistic Design

Jaxson Wyatt

White House Black Market – Oak Park Mall

Fashion AF

Potapenko & Yanchenko

Any Old Iron

I can’t wait to see how you incorporate these trends!


Molly B.