Mail/Processing Inbox

The Art of Love & Money Organize Your Financial Paperwork

The paperwork just will not stop coming!  It’s like the laundry but worse because you can’t throw it in the machine and walk away.

Every day when you get home, there is more paperwork.  Seems like everyday you out there living your life, you are creating more.paper.trails.

So much for a paperless society.

I handle this dilemma by setting out a mail/processing inbox.  The basket sits beside our desk and anything that comes into the house that can not immediately be tossed to recycle goes into that box.  In an ideal world, every Wednesday would be the paper sorting day in which I would open the envelopes, sort into piles to take action, file or toss.  In real life, it may be a few weeks, when the papers are beginning to overflow the basket.  It still works, and it has worked pretty flawlessly for over ten years.

Gather your supplies.  You will need a couple of baskets.  Don’t over do this.  Walk around your house and see if you already have something that can work.  If not, walk around Target with a stack of notebooks and a pile of the Sunday paper an junk mail in your cart.  The inbox should be large enough to hold several full size notebooks and the Discard box should be large enough to hold a few weeks worth of newspaper circulars.

Pick a basket for your inbox.  This basket should be large enough to hold several full size spiral bound notebooks.  I got mine as a stack able rattan set of 3 at Target, it measures 10″x14″x5″. 10″ wide, 14″long, 5″ deep.

Pick a basket for your discarded mail.  I have a small laundry basket near the mail slot on the covered front porch.  Anyone who brings the mail in knows to toss junk before bringing it into the inbox.  We use a small, square  laundry basket.  You can also use your main trash/recycle – so long as you toss it as it comes into the house.

You can read more about this idea from my favorite happy home maker, FLY Lady, (Scroll down to Paperwork/Clean Out Day” or the impeccably organized, Lisa Woodrow’s Organize 365 Sunday Basket.  I first started this years ago from the FLY Lady, but it seems her systems have changed and evolved since that time as well.  She used to do it on Wednesday, and there used to be a whole bit about sorting the paper as it comes in the door – recycle, then into the inbox.  Sort and handle any to do items, and file as needed.

One more step for incoming paperwork next week.  What to do with the to-do items?  I’ll show you how I handle mine, what has been working for me for well over a decade.

ACTIONABLE STEP: Set up a system to toss the junk mail as it comes in and store the papers to be processed.  Pick a day of the week to sort piles for action, file, or toss.

 

 

 

 

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Monday Motivation

Have you heard the term ‘Forest Bathing’?

I first heard the term this summer, while browsing social media, ironically.

Forest Bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. It perfectly describes how I feel when I take a long walk outside and clear my head.  I often say that walking is my therapy, so to hear this term makes me smile.  It validates my experience, the time I set aside, for me, fresh air, sunshine and the trees.

Today, I am going to do something good for my soul.  I’m going for a long walk, and I hope that you will take the time to do something good for your soul, too.

It’s Monday, and my weekend was anything but restful.  I’m taking an extra long walk before work today, and I’m hoping it cures most of what ails me.

What will you do today for your soul?

ACTIONABLE STEP:  Do something today that feels good.

 

Exploring Kansas City – Our Top Pick

 

Bird’s Botanicals

Birds Botanicals was our favorite hidden gem spot in Kansas City. As a matter of fact, it was our favorite overall spot in Kansas City.

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What was it about this place that was so special, you might ask. Let’s see….

It may have been that finding the storefront through an industrial gated cave opening felt like a scavenger hunt.

We knew we were nearby thanks to the gorgeous purple signage… and yet it seemed impossible that anything as delicate as even one single exotic orchid would be found here.

The guard directed us to the door and even still… we drive into the cave, circled around and came back out. Seemed impossible.

By now I was rather amazed (and impressed) that my husband continued to keep trying. In our hasty youth we would have given up. But we persisted.

I approached the guard shack on foot this time.Luckily there was another person nearby who heard what we were looking for, actually, I think he may have taken one look at me and decided the only possible reason I would be entering an industrial cave entrance was for “Birds? I’ll show ya. Once you see it, it’s easy, but it’s hard to find otherwise.  It’s a cool place.  He has been her a long time, probably longer than any of us.”

And then we saw the sign above the door, happily thanked and waved goodbye to our unofficial guide and headed towards the floral store front window with a beautiful purple painted cargo van being loaded for the farmers market. We were greeted by the owners friendly daughter carting the orchids and the corgi to the loading area.

She welcomed us inside. It looked like your typical flowers shop at first.

 

But then, I turned the corner.  And my eyes nearly filled with tears.

IMG_7267I had never imagined anything so magical and mystical as a cave full of orchids.  Beautiful, large blooms, in all varieties and smatterings of creative decorative pots filled with succulents.

We were again greeted, this time by the owner, Dave Bird, and I gushed over how beautiful and amazing this place was.  We became instant friends.  He was clearly amused by my amazement, but when he recovered, he gave us space to explore and would loop back around and nudge us into the next room – because, yes there are 3 rooms!  Orchids, succulents, air plants, carnivorous plants, tropical plants.

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It’s truly a site to see.  It was easily our favorite couple of hours spent in Kansas City.

None of the Kansas City locals we talked to knew this place existed – so it was a lot of fun to give them the tip on where to go in their home town – mostly because this place is so amazing.

 

 

List Important Financial Info

The Art of Love & Money Organize Your Financial Paperwork

Last week, we set up a home for all of your financial paper work, a Financial File Box.  This week, keep sorting through the papers and

How did you do with that?  Did you have any hang-ups?

Did you reward yourself for the steps that you did make? 

I hope that you made some progress and enjoyed a glass of red wine and some guilty pleasure Netflix’n on the other side.

The bad news is: that was a beast.

The good news is: All of your financial paperwork now lives in one organized, easily accessible, readily available spot in your home. Forever.  And the only thing you need to do to keep up on it is to keep an inbox for your paperwork that gets sorted and cleaned out on a weekly 15-minute basis – or when it gets full to overflowing.

I recommend the former, but, have been known to wait until there is no other choice when life gets in the way – but the system has worked for me for over ten years.  I’m sure it can work for you, too, if you do.the.work.

I get that sorting paper work is not high on the list of things to do when you have a free minute.  But I also get that you are here reading this because you have had.it.up.to.here. with not having a place to store your papers, sifting through mounds of paper piles in your home searching for that one envelope that has the.most.urgent.importance. in this moment.  That you would rather be bored to tears putting file labels in place than crying tears of frustration in a frantic hurry on your way out of the door to that one meeting that is everything, but first you need that one.piece.of.paper!

I can help you with the boredom. Pandora. Netflix. Podcasts.

I can help you with the rewards. A great cup of coffee. A candlelit bath time. A movie night and a glass of your favorite beverage.

I can even help you with the systems, the supplies, and the labels.

I can help with the moral support.  I will Skype call with you, walk you through the process – I am giving away 15-minute sessions to those who are ready to get their financial lives in order, who want to know my systems in exchange for some honest feed back, critique of the systems and a chance to be a featured success story on the blog.

Today’s downloads are for the folders that I have added, the Financial Accounts List, Passwords List, and Automatic Drafts List.  These lists are important for estate planning, money dates, annual financial check-ins and overall organization.  They help keep everyone in the house on the same page.

In the event of an emergency, both partners will know how to keep the financial house afloat.

This week, download a copy, save an original, and begin filling out the spreadsheet.

Print and add to your Financial File box.

Tip: I suggest beginning by printing the pages (blank) and then using a pen to fill out any info that you know off-hand.  You can fill in the information as you gather it, the update the file and reprint for your Financial File box.

If you are worried about the safety and security of tracking your passwords, you can password protect the documents, write hints for yourself only (not the actual password), you can use a password software like LastPass.

Email me or comment below to let me know if you are following along, how it’s going, and what I can do to help you along.  Leave me tips or recommendations.

ACTIONABLE STEP: Download Financial Accounts List, Passwords List, and Automatic Drafts List, fill  out the spreadsheets and place in the appropriate folders in your Financial File Box.

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Would you like some help getting set up?

Send me an email artofloveandmoney@gmail.com to become one of my case studies.  If you are chosen, you will receive a free 15 minute session via skype I will help you set up your file box labels to meet your individual circumstances and cheer you on as you sort through your financial paper work, get organized, and take control of your financial systems.

 

Keep Swimming,

Rachelle

Motivation Monday

The Art of Love & Money Total Eclipse

I’ve seen a total eclipse from every continent – including Antarctica. And it’s been a wonderful way to see the world. The eclipses take you to really unusual, off-beat places that you might not normally plan a vacation to, but they’re wonderful places to go.

Fred Espenak

I read the above quote from Fred Espenak, and I thought,

“Wow, to have that kind of focused determined action….”

To have accomplished that sort of a feat has taken hundreds of tiny little steps that have added up to a really impressive biography.

It demands focus, it takes determination, it requires action, but it also involves serendipity, the magical, lyrical ability to let life lead you where it may.

Imagine the stories he has, the places he has been, the people he has talked to that he never even imagined would be part of his journey.  All he knew was he wanted to see an eclipse.

That one follow-through action had him hooked, and then he acquired a telescope, later decided on a career path predicting the patterns of the eclipse, and he has now been to every continent, including Antarctica.

Imagine how his life may have been altered if the 7 year old boy had not been allowed to watch the eclipse, or if he had been sick, or if he had decided to watch television that day instead.

You never know where your curiosities will lead you –  so allow yourself to have some fun, allow yourself some curiosity, allow yourself some freedom from the path to explore your options and then when something grabs your attention, hold onto it with both hands and take action.  One step at a time.

Much respect to you, Frank Espenak, for first tracking the path of the eclipse, researching the travel options, booking a hotel room, saving the money, allocating the resources and time to travel, packing a bag, boarding a plane, learning a language – mostly all without Google, I would imagine…  I mean, really, when I read this, Wow.

What are my excuses for not traveling, for not doing what I love?

Do you think Frank will have any regrets at the end of his life?  Not many, I wouldn’t imagine.  He seems like the kind of guy who gets things done.

ACTIONABLE STEP:  Think about what you love, what you love to do so much that you would do it if you got paid to do it or not, something that you would travel all over the world for the opportunity to do, something that you love so much that when people think about it, they think of you.  Just get out a sheet of paper and scribble them all down.  If you don’t have that one thing yet – no worries!  Just jot down things that you have always been curious about and go try them out.

Now think of ways that you can commit to doing more of those things.  Fill your life with things you love to do.

 

 

Exploring Kansas City – What To Eat & Drink

The Art of Love & Money - Kansas City - What To Eat & Drink

We have been exploring cities together for many years now and it never fails to be what connects us, to each other and the world around us.  We love the nooks and crannies of small river towns and the Midwestern cities for their history and hospitality.  We love to strike up conversations with other travelers and the locals.  I love to use trip advisor to hunt down the best food options.  We prefer to eat local, non-chain restaurants whenever possible for the unique variety.

You can read about where to stay & what to do in the previous two posts.  Today, it’s all about the food and drink.  I will repeat some info that was included in the last post, as they overlap and if you don’t click back, you’ll miss it – and we don’t want that!

While there are many terrific options of what to eat & drink in Kansas City, and we didn’t get nearly enough time to do all there is to do, this is what I can say we did AND what I can recommend.  I will only highlight the best of our adventures here, the places that I think are worth your precious exploration time, things that we enjoyed.

Roasterie

The place to go if … you are looking for a great cup of coffee and some education on the coffee industry.

RoasterieConPanna

The coffee aroma and taste is top-notch, just as is their bean selection, roasting, brewing, and cupping processes.  Roasterie proudly takes coffee to an art form level.

Check the out the menu.

I enjoyed a Honey Cinnamon Latte, the coffee was rich and flavorful, and the honey and cinnamon offered just enough sweetness and aroma.
Mario had the con panna, two cups of espresso, with a dollop of cream and a drizzle.
Pastries are available as well – Mario and I both had the chocolate croissant, in remembrance of out honeymoon in Jamaica, where we ate them on the buffet every morning.  I’d suggest asking them to heat it up for 15 seconds or so – that way the dark chocolate middles will be all melty and delicious.
We also really wanted to try their cold brew cans of coffee and nitro, but we didn’t have a cooler with ice, and had had our fill of caffeine beverages…all the more reason to make a return trip.
If you are looking for something to do, check out the tours.  And get 10% off of your coffees and pastries.

Kaldi’s Coffee

The place to go if … you are looking for a shot of caffeine and delicious sit-down coffee and baked goods to rest in between shops.

Kaldi

It seems Kaldi’s is indeed a chain that has locations outside of Kansas City, but we don’t have any in our area – although my husband will be thrilled to know that they orignated in St. Louis, MO – we go there about once a year – he says that was the best latte he has ever had.  Not too sweet and just exactly the right flavor.  We both had the vanilla latte with half the syrup.  It was an amazing cup of coffee, and we shared two bakery slices – a chocolate banana zucchini bread, and a sunflower bread – we loved the sunflower – so don’t miss that one.  It was the perfect baked good balance to our vanilla lattes.

If you are looking to do some shopping, both Kaldi locations in the K.C. area are in the Country Crown Plaza shopping center.  The stunning 1920’s Spanish-influenced architecture of the buildings, mosaics and water fountains make the area well worth the stroll, even if you are not that into shopping.

We stopped in a few shops that we don’t have in our area, like Anthropologie, but, honestly it was way too beautiful to be inside that day.

Gate’s Bar-B-Q

 The place to go if … you are looking for some good ol’ K.C. BBQ – no fuss, no muss.
Gates
Image Credit Gates Bar-B-Q
Gates & Sons Bar-B-Q  is one of two Kansas City, Missouri restaurants (along with Arthur Bryant’s) that trace their roots back to Henry Perry, founder of Kansas City barbecue.
Gates is the kind of place where you open the door to step inside and the seasoning and smoke fills the air and you’re like, Yep.  This is the right place.
We both had the burnt ends sandwich with a 1/2 gallon of Pepsi.  Seriously huge cups!
But, back to the BBQ, one look at my lunch tray, my sandwich smothered in sauce and topped with sour pickles, I literally took my white t-shirt off to eat it.  I was left in a perfectly acceptable gray Cami, and it turned out to be a good call, as halfway through my sandwich, I looked up to see that my husband had dripped on his favorite blue T covered in pigeon print.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this wiki article points out that in pop culture,
Gate’s Bar-B-Q is featured prominently in the lyrics and video of rapper Tech N9ne‘s song “O.G.” The title and cover of the 2010 album the song is featured on, The Gates Mixed Plate, make further references to the restaurant. Tech N9ne has also referred to Ollie Gates in numerous songs over his career.Gates and Sons is referenced in lyrics for Sir Mix-a-Lot‘s song “A Rapper’s Reputation” from the 1992 album Mack Daddy.

That would have been enough to seal the deal for us.

Speaking of which – does anyone know how to get a tour or Tech N9ne Headquarters?  I’m on a mission to get my husband through those doors. He’s a big fan, and after reading an article on Travis O’Guin’s business savvy, I am in awe of him. Dude bought the car wash down the road from the HQ because he didn’t like the way they were running it.  That’s some boss shit right there.  The kind of dreams you have about running things the way they should be run, like, “Naw, that ain’t how it should be done…let me show you…”

In that article O’Guin cops to being a near Howie Mandel germ-a-phob and a freak about organization. My husband is a high performance building services supervisor on a large campus of 28 academic buildings, so I have decided this is a dream job.  I’m (kind-a-sort-of) kidding about the job, but I’d do almost anything to get my husband a tour of Strange Music Headquarters.  He sees TechN9ne, Ritz, and MayDay whenever they come within range of our hometown and he’d be in Strange Music Disneyland if  I could manage to pull that one off.

Grünauer

The place to go if … you are looking for a Authentic European cuisine/ new experience.

 

Grauner

Authentic Germanic cuisine offered in the heart of Kansas City. The restaurant is the second iteration of the family’s popular and  long-lived restaurant of the same name in Vienna’s artsy Neubau neighborhood, and they bring much of the same inspired Austrian cooking, hospitality and atmosphere to downtown Kansas City.

One of my top ways to finds what’s good to eat in a new area is to check out trip advisor’s restaurant recommendations for what’s the best food near me.  I scour the  reviews for places nearest me that aren’t touristy chains, that have high star ratings and interesting descriptions and/or stories.  When I hit on this one, I fell for it hard.

I have never been to Europe.  I have never been to a biergarten.  I am approximately 85% German lineage, long since unobserved.  Both my father’s family and my mother’s family are of German descent, but the cultural practices aren’t observed in any particular ways.

My husband saw the light in my eyes and agreed to go, though he teased that the beirgarten was likely just a patio.  To which I responded, yes, that is what a beirgarten is, a patio in which food and drink are served.

It was a beautiful evening. We sat in the beirgarten and sampled four different Austrian brews – 2 for each of us.  We enjoyed them all, and took the recommendations from our server, Shawn.

I can’t recall which beers we went with.  Just check over the menu and let your server know what you like – light, dark, ale, hops, etc and they are very educated in pointing you in a good direction.

The menu is in German, with descriptions in English, so we needed a lot of guidance.  Shawn was happy to oblige, and very accommodating with our questions.We ended up with a really delicious appetizer (from the bar food menu) of cheese and sausage fritters and two different schnitzels for our main course.

Traditional Schnitzel

Breaded and pan sauteed pork cutlet with potato and cucumber salad

 Whoooooa!  That potato and cucumber salad was so good!  It was refreshing and flavorful, I’m going to need to look up a recipe for that.  My schnitzel was delicious as well, mostly a breaded pork tenderloin without the bun – but the seasoning was really good and the meat was tender and tasty as well.

Cordon Bleu Schnitzel

Breaded pork cutlet stuffed with smoked ham and swiss cheese with red cabbage

I’d also have liked to try the

Käsespätzle

Spätzle with swiss cheese and crispy onions

but there is only so much room in one beer-filled belly.  Just another reason to return!

Manifesto

The place to go if … you are looking for a good ol’ fashioned Speak Easy.

As soon as I saw that Speakeasies are a thing in KC, I knew I had to go.  I made a reservation via text, and was confirmed for 11pm Sunday night.  To get there, you walk around the back alley to past the trash dumpster, around the dark corner, up the old stoop and ring the buzzer.  The hostess will let you in and seat you in a cozy dimly candle lit room in the basement, where the capacity is 48 people.

The mixologists will make you a craft cocktail from the seasonal menu,  and if you are lucky and keep trying hard enough you’ll get a conversation going with the bartender that will send a ripple effect that gets you talking to the entire bar.

Mario had Black Bamboo Ash followed by Stiggin’s Cure.

I started with The Man with the Golden Aeroplane followed by Queen B.

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Black Bamboo .  Image Credit Manifesto

black bamboo

Soju – Manzanilla Sherry –  Dolin Blanc –  Lotus Flower –  Bamboo Ash

stiggin’s cure

Plantation Pineapple Rum – Falernum – Honey – Cinnaomon – Lemon – Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch Whiskey

the man with the golden aeroplane

J. Rieger & Co. Gin – Yzaguirre Vermouth Blanc – Kina L’aero D’or – Angostura Orange Bitters

queen b

Ransom Gin – Chipotle Mead – Lion’s Tooth Dandelion – Lemon – Juniper

We had a fantastic time here, chatting up the bartender and the craft cocktails are really superb.  I had as much fun reading the menu as I did sippin’ my drinks.  And the history!  The Rieger Hotel and the old speakeasy of the day has hosted the likes of  Tom Pendergast and Al Capone.

The Green Lady Lounge

The place to go if … you are looking for some live jazz music to accompany your drinks.

After having just the right amount of a good time, we bid adieu to our new friends at the bar and walked several blocks to the Green Lady Lounge, for I was determined to hear some late night live jazz music while in Kansas City.  The Green Lady had been recommended to us several times in the past two days, and the walking distance was a bonus since we had uber’d in.

Never a cover charge, always open seating and live jazz 7 nights a week.  What do ya got to lose?

GreenLadyLounge
Image Credit The Green Lady Lounge

The staff at The Green Lady Lounge was phenomenal.  There are a lot of bodies in there wanting a dink, and they are rather busy running back and forth to the bar, and tables and keeping the tables cleared.  Mario ordered a drink, took one sip and decided not to drink it – he just wasn’t a fan.  When the waitress came back over, she noticed he hadn’t drank much of it, asked how we liked our drinks, and made him another drink – no charge.

I thanked her sincerely, and she just waved it off, ‘No, We want to be sure everyone likes their drink, or we don’t charge them.’  She was insistent, and we were grateful.

I had a Dark & Spicy Mule and Mario ended up with a Juarez Mule.

We sat there, snuggled together in a booth, letting the jazz happily drift around us, tapping our toes to the rhythm and watching the band get down to their own groove.

So much good food and crafty drinks in Kansas City – I will definitely love to go back!  For me, the food and drink make the location and elevate the trip to the next level.

I can’t end this post without letting you know our favorite tip for exploring an area: Ask the locals. Everywhere.You.Go.

We play this game with our servers, the shop owners/retail workers, the hotel concierge, and the shuttle bus drivers.

  1. You can’t come to Kansas City and NOT do _______________________________.

  2. The hands-down best Barbecue in Kansas City is _________________________________.

  3. The place to see live jazz in K.C. is _______________________________________.

  4. My favorite go-to restaurant (overall) is _______________________________________.

To Good Eats & Cocktails to Drink,

Rachelle ♥

ACTIONABLE STEP: Explore Kansas City virtually by checking out the trip advisor restaurant reviews – OR – if you have a next spot on your radar, check out the restaurants of that locale ahead of time.  You may be able to go in the near future, you may not be able to, but half of the fun is in the planning and the browsing.  The next time you have a free weekend, you’ll already have an idea tucked away for just the right occasion.

 

Set Up a Financial File Box

The Art of Love & Money Organize Your Financial Paperwork

Get all of your supplies ahead of time.

Long Financial File Box

Hanging File Folders

Manila folders

Avery File Folder Labels 8366

Avery Label Templates – Download.  Save an original as Read-only and then save another working document that you can customize as your own.  The Categories are BOLD and they will go on the hanging file folders.  The sub categories will be customized to your own individual names and circumstances; they will go on the manila folders inside the hanging file folders.  If you don’t have a particular category set up – but you will need to in the future start a blank folder to hold space for the future.  It will remind you that you still have tasks to complete.

Hope for a rainy Saturday morning.  Set all of your items out.

Take a before picture of your tangled documents.

Walk away & enjoy a cup of coffee.

Turn on Pandora and put on your favorite station.

Set up a long file folder box, with hanging file folders and printable labels.  In this box you will house your entire financial life. I started out with Smart Couples Finish Rich File Folders and have evolved it from there.  There is a lot of great information out there on how to organize paperwork, there is no one right way.  The right way is the way you will actually DO it, so keep that in mind.  Just start simple and build from there.

You can download my file folder templates here:

FinancialBox-page1-AofLM

FinancialBox-page2-AofLM

FinancialBox-page3-AofLM

For More:

Finish Rich File System by David Bach

A Bowl Full of Lemons Filing System Organization

Organize365 31 Days of Paper Organization Video Series

ACTIONABLE STEP: Buy your supplies, download and customize your folder labels.

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Would you like some help getting set up?

Send me an email artofloveandmoney@gmail.com to become one of my case studies.  If you are chosen, you will receive a free 15 minute session via skype I will help you set up your file box labels to meet your individual circumstances and cheer you on as you sort through your financial paper work, get organized, and take control of your financial systems.

 

Onward,

Rachelle

Affiliate links:  In the interest of full disclosure, I have an affiliate advertising relationship with Amazon. I will receive commission from affiliate partners when readers click, buy, print or shop their offers – HOWEVER – my intention in sharing these links is for ease of setting up your financial file box.  These are the exact products I used to set up my system several years ago.  Carry on…

Motivation Monday – Career Advice

The Art of Love & Money - It's never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot

Have you ever felt….stuck?

Just not feeling it on Mondays, dreading the week ahead?

Listen – Life is short!  I need this wake-up call just as much as anyone else. Some days I am ready to move on, and then I think, oh, no… I have so much invested in my career, I have seniority, I have experience, I don’t have time to go back to school, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t work in this field, I don’t feel like writing a resume, updating my Linked-in account, meeting new people, starting all over.

But – what if I told you – It’s not too late.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot.

What if I told you I know someone who can help you?  A friend to walk you through the steps, an advocate to nudge you along, to whisper in your ear to keep going?

Meet Alicia Shiller, Career Advisor.  Alicia has more than 6 years of experience working with a wide range of clients – from college students, to new grads, to career-changers and military veterans.

The job search process can be overwhelming and frustrating.  She will work with you to break down the process into manageable steps and provide guidance to improve your job search strategies and skills.

Giveaway: One Hour Career Advising Session

AliciaShiller
Image Credit Alicia Shiller

Hiring can slow down in the summer months…which makes it a great time to revamp your resume, reevaluate your job search strategy, and get ready to hit the ground running come fall.

To help you achieve your job search goals, Alicia is giving away an hour of one-on-one career advising! To enter, just fill out the contact form with your goals & needs.

Alicia will reach out to the winner directly on August 17th to schedule an appointment.

Appointments are available via phone and Skype. Please share this post to encourage friends and family to explore their career options as well.

ACTIONABLE STEP:

Contact Alicia for a FREE 10 minute consultation.  Then enter the giveaway for your chance to win an hour long session, and grab a cup of coffee and your notepad and dream out what your career path could look like over the next 3 months to a year. Get started today – before doubt and excuses can creep in.

x/o

Rachelle

The Art of Love & Money - It's never too late to be what you might have been. - George Eliot

One of Alicia’s favorite career quotes is “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” It’s by the (female) author George Eliot.

“So many people, even young adults I have worked with,  think that once they start going down a career path, it’s impossible to switch gears. Or, people who are older might think that it’s too late, or too difficult, or there are too many obstacles, to do what they really want to do. I love helping people see that their goals ARE actually attainable!”

-Alicia Schiller

Exploring Kansas City – What To Do

The Art of Love & Money - Kansas City - What To Do

My husband and I  love a good weekend getaway.  A chance to reconnect on a long drive through loud music, sing a longs, and a chance for uninterrupted conversations.  We haven’t had a trip for two in a good long while, and the month of July houses both our anniversary and my birthday, so it seemed as good as time as any to hit the open road.  You can read about where we stayed in last week’s post.

We decided on Kansas City, MO.  We have been wanting to check it out for a while now.  We had heard of their numerous city fountains, BBQ, and live jazz scene.  What’s not to like?

I hit the official Kansas City Tourism website.  KC, you had me at Over/Under Tours – Lofty Heights and Underground Sights in KC.   33 For Free lent encouragement as well.

While there are many things to do in Kansas City, and we didn’t get nearly enough time to do all there is to do, this is what I can say we did AND what I can recommend.  I will only highlight the best of our adventures here, the places that I think are worth your precious exploration time, things that we enjoyed.

Bird’s Botanicals

The first thing we did upon rolling into Kansas City is stop to explore this wonderful, magic, fairyland in an underground industrial cave.  I never would have known it was there, in fact, even with the signs – it was hard to believe we were in the right place.

When we did locate the shop inside the cave, we were greeted by a corgi dog riding on the rolling cart as a friendly worker loaded the cargo van for the farmer’s market.  Stepping inside the door, it was indeed a flower shop, with your typical flower shop feel – a flower display case, pots, soil, nick-knacks, and a cash register…

But then, I turned the corner.  And my eyes nearly filled with tears.

I had never imagined anything so magical and mystical as a cave full of orchids.  Beautiful, large blooms, in all varieties and smatterings of creative decorative pots filled with succulents.

We were again greeted, this time by the owner, Dave Bird, and I gushed over how beautiful and amazing this place was.  We became instant friends.  He was clearly amused by my amazement, but when he recovered, he gave us space to explore and would loop back around and nudge us into the next room – because, yes there are 3 rooms!  Orchids, succulents, air plants, carnivorous plants, tropical plants.

It’s truly a site to see.  It was easily our favorite couple of hours spent in Kansas City.  I’ll write more about Bird’s in another post, but for now – just keep it on your radar – and remember to use city tour guides to help point you to off-the-beaten path places in your travels.

None of the Kansas City locals we talked to knew this place existed – so it was a lot of fun to give them the tip on where to go in their home town – mostly because this place is so amazing.

Roasterie Factory

When we got up and moving the following morning, we headed for our tour of The Roasterie.  We had tour reservations for 10, and we arrived around 9:40, which was just enough time to enjoy a cup before the tour began – and boy, did the coffee smell and taste amazing.

roasterie
Image Credit The Roasterie
I enjoyed a Honey Cinnamon Latte, the coffee was rich and flavorful, and the honey and cinnamon offered just enough sweetness and aroma.
Mario had the con panna, two cups of espresso, with a dollop of cream and a drizzle.
What I love most about the Roasterie is that the owner, Danny O’Neill fell in love with coffee beans while studying abroad in Costa Rica. “Right then and there, he fell in love with the country, the people and the coffee — especially the coffee. Fifteen years later, when Danny founded The Roasterie in his basement in one of Kansas City’s great neighborhoods” – the Roasterie webpage.
He gives back to the region by operating day care centers to educate the children in the villages, who in turn, go home to teach their parents what they learned in school today.

 

WWI Memorial

After lunch and a brief nap to refuel our energy for exploration, we took the shuttle to The National World War I Museum and Memorial – America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.

WWI-Museum
Image Credit World War I Memorial Museum

This is a fantastic museum filled with a ton of facts and a lot of reading materials, you can also opt to take an audio tour. Two great things about your admission tickets is that it includes two days of entrance, and a trip to the top of the tower.  I am thrilled to find that a lot of the reading material can be found online – because it really is just a lot to take in while roaming the exhibits.

Visitors enter the exhibit space above a field of 9,000 red poppies, each one representing 1,000 combatant deaths.[5]

Did you know the Great War started Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia in retaliation for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand… the assassination attempt was actually called off, but the communication links of the time were slow and unreliable.  The assassin never received the message.  And all of Europe implodes…

The Memorial Tower raises 265 feet above the surrounding city, flanked between two stone Assyrian sphinxes, named “Memory” and “Future,” covering their faces with their wings. Memory faces East, hiding its face from the horrors of the European battlefields. Its counterpart faces West and shields its eyes from a future yet unseen.

Union Station

When the WWI museum closed, we walked around the front of the building and crossed the street to Union Station.  Built in 1914, in her prime as a working train station, she accommodated hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. During WWII, an estimated one million travelers – many of them soldiers — passed through the Station.

We marveled at the majestic architecture, imagining travelers back in the day hustling and bustling through the grand hallways to their destinations and read about the model steam engine in the display case.

UnionStaiton
Image Credit Wikipedia; Daderot

Union Station is home to a theaters, exhibits, and a mall shopping area today, the shops were closing and our feet and our minds were entering their limit, so we headed back to the hotel for a nap and sun-soaked bath on the rooftop pool.

 

Image Credit Wikipediea By Daderot – Daderot, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17382724

 

Manifesto

The place to go if … you are looking for a good ol’ fashioned Speak Easy.

As soon as I saw that Speakeasies are a thing in KC, I knew I had to go.  I made a reservation via text, and was confirmed for 11pm Sunday night.  To get there, you walk around the back alley to past the trash dumpster, around the dark corner, up the old stoop and ring the buzzer.  The hostess will let you in and seat you in a cozy dimly candle lit room in the basement, where the capacity is 48 people.

The mixologists will make you a craft cocktail from the seasonal menu,  and if you are lucky and keep trying hard enough you’ll get a conversation going with the bartender that will send a ripple effect that gets you talking to the entire bar.

Mario had Black Bamboo Ash followed by Stiggin’s Cure.

I started with The Man with the Golden Aeroplane followed by Queen B.

blackbamboo
Black Bamboo .  Image Credit Manifesto

black bamboo

Soju – Manzanilla Sherry –  Dolin Blanc –  Lotus Flower –  Bamboo Ash

stiggin’s cure

Plantation Pineapple Rum – Falernum – Honey – Cinnaomon – Lemon – Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch Whiskey

the man with the golden aeroplane

J. Rieger & Co. Gin – Yzaguirre Vermouth Blanc – Kina L’aero D’or – Angostura Orange Bitters

queen b

Ransom Gin – Chipotle Mead – Lion’s Tooth Dandelion – Lemon – Juniper

We had a fantastic time here, chatting up the bartender and the craft cocktails are really superb.  I had as much fun reading the menu as I did sippin’ my drinks.  And the history!  The Rieger Hotel and the old speakeasy of the day has hosted the likes of  Tom Pendergast and Al Capone.

The Green Lady Lounge

After having just the right amount of a good time, we bid adieu to our new friends at the bar and walked several blocks to the Green Lady Lounge, for I was determined to hear some late night live jazz music while in Kansas City.  The Green Lady had been recommended to us several times in the past two days, and the walking distance was a bonus since we had uber’d in.

Never a cover charge, always open seating and live jazz 7 nights a week.  What do ya got to lose?

GreenLadyLounge
Image Credit The Green Lady Lounge

The staff at The Green Lady Lounge was phenomenal.  There are a lot of bodies in there wanting a dink, and they are rather busy running back and forth to the bar, and tables and keeping the tables cleared.  Mario ordered a drink, took one sip and decided not to drink it – he just wasn’t a fan.  When the waitress came back over, she noticed he hadn’t drank much of it, asked how we liked our drinks, and made him another drink – no charge.

I thanked her sincerely, and she just waved it off, ‘No, We want to be sure everyone likes their drink, or we don’t charge them.’  She was insistent, and we were grateful.

I had a Dark & Spicy Mule and Mario ended up with a Juarez Mule.

We sat there, snuggled together in a booth, letting the jazz happily drift around us, tapping our toes to the rhythm and watching the band get down to their own groove.

ACTIONABLE STEP: Explore Kansas City virtually by clicking through the links.  You may be able to go in the near future, you may not be able to, but half of the fun is in the planning and the browsing.  The next time you have a free weekend, you’ll already have an idea tucked away for just the right occasion.

 

Organize Your Financial Paperwork

The Art of Love & Money Organize Your Financial Paperwork

If you got started on tracking your Net Worth last week, you may have noticed that you have a lot of paperwork and it can be hard to find all that you need when you need it.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be walking you through how I organize our financial paper work.  We will also delve into ways to keep electronic accounts in order and creating systems to maintain it all

Stay with me now.  It’s about to get real, but I am going to walk you through it one step at a time, so don’t get scared off.

Can you just imagine your entire financial life in one, organized space?  Can you imagine needing a document and knowing where it is without having to sort through all of the piles on every flat surface in your home?  To be overcharged for a bill you have already paid and know exactly where the receipt to dispute the claim is and being only a minor irritant in your day instead of a full blown crisis?

Tax papers, Social Security mailings, bills, credit card balances and agreements, student loans, mortgage papers, insurance documents all in one home – not scattered about your house in various boxes.  You’ll love it – once it’s done.

The process itself is a little tedious, but let’s just knock it out and then celebrate afterwards, shall we?

My paperwork started out in several random cardboard banker’s boxes filled with newspaper clippings, photo envelopes, kid’s craft papers, pay stubs, and yeah, pretty much a lot of scattered junk, and oh yes, my most important financial documents.  It was not pretty.

Don’t be like the old me. Do this instead.

  • Financial File Box
  • Mail/Processing In-box
  • Binder
  • List of Accounts and websites
  • Password Systems

ACTIONABLE STEP: For now, just gather all of the paper stacks in the house.  Set in one spot with multiple boxes to sort into piles.  It’s best if you have a flat surface like the dining room table or the living room floor that is cleared away for separate piles. Sort through the junk mail and toss it into a laundry basket used for recycle.  If you have papers you are concerned about shredding – and you have a shredder, set that up.  But mostly just be done with it!  If you don’t have a shredder – I have resorted to this bizarre yet  – free and genius   – work around: wet the papers in the sink and let the ink run and become unrecognizable. Once they aren’t sodden and the sink is drained you can throw them in a grocery sack and dispose as regular trash. Throw in some old coffee grinds and egg shells for good measure. The point here is this – DON’T get deterred.

Just sit and sort .  It’s best if you have at least 3 boxes/laundry baskets for sorting and big ol’ recycle can.

  • Keep – Financial.  Set aside for financial file box day.  No need to file now – just save.
  • Keep – Non-Finance Set aside for file cabinet day – No need to file now – just sort.
  • Keep – Memorabilia – Set aside for Memorabilia day – No need to store now, just
  • Recycle/Trash
  • Secure Trash

This is no picnic so have a reward for yourself when you are finished with stage one.  Perhaps a bonfire with friends that can double as a secure trash disposal, or a movie night with your favorite bottle of wine or pint of ice cream.  Maybe it’s a bubble bath and a candle and your best cup of tea.  I don’t care what it is – as long as you do.the.work. and then enjoy.the.reward.  Even if you think this is silly – please just try it out – I don’t want you getting burnt out before you begin!