Shawnee Magazine Winter 2010

Page 1

winter 2010/11

sHawnee People, places and style defined

Kansas City Curling Club breaks the ice SCS: DĂŠcor for an Big time entertaining billiards in A Community spirit Shawnee Lifeline





As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I am really good at making them—but not so good at keeping them. And yes, I’ve tried them all: exercise more, spend less, eat healthy, volunteer more, even clean more often (who am I kidding?!). The lack of motivation gets me every year. It wasn’t until I began editing this issue of Shawnee Magazine that I realized the stories feature obtainable, accountable New Year’s resolutions—I just didn’t plan it that way. Because the writers are le magnifique at creating conversational stories, you too will find new inspiration in this winter lineup.

For the motivational:



winter 2010/11

sHawnee People, places and style defined


Publisher/Art Director Darby Oppold Editor Katy Ibsen Copy Editor Susie Fagan Advertising Sales Mary Hay (913) 631-1611 Manager Bert Hull Ad Designers Shelly Bryant Photographers Tim Andersen Jason Dailey Contributing Writers Kim Antisdel Claire M. Caterer Carolyn Glade Dvorak Gloria Gale Vince Meserko Katy Ryan Kimberly Winter Stern Linda A. Thompson Coordinator Faryle Scott


Subscriptions $22 (tax included) for a one-year subscription to Shawnee Magazine. For subscription information, please contact: Christopher J. Bell 609 New Hampshire St., P.O. Box 888 Lawrence, KS 66044 (800) 578-8748 | Fax (785) 843-1922 Or e-mail comments to


Shawnee Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company.

find us on facebook Follow us on twitter @shawneemag


Resolution No. 1: Get in shape. Read our story on the KC Curling Club, and you’ll start to feel the effects! This club has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years thanks to the popularity of curling at the Olympic Games. The catch? You’re going to like it. Connect with individuals from the metro area and learn the fun and challenging sport. Resolution No. 2: Eat healthier. This one’s easy with the help of Chef Mark Mollentine and his homegrown line of all-natural sauces. Read how this Shawnee chef found his passion and why his take on food is one you’ll want to implement in your kitchen. As he puts it, “I help translate foods into recipes that people can enjoy at home.” Resolution No. 3: Update your furniture. This may seem out of place unless you have a passion for décor. Fortunately, Designer Consignment can relate. This local business saves good furniture from going bad. With good bones and new vision, this collection of beautiful, gently used items is simply looking for a new home. Best of all, the showroom is ever changing, and you never know what you may find. Resolution No. 4: Take a vacation. Europe is too pricey, you’ve been to the mountains and a cruise seems so passé. Head to sandy, sunny Sarasota. A perfect blend of culture, arts and relaxation, this Florida city is home to the Ringling Brothers estate, a treat even for your young companions, as well as beaches and tiki bars for mom and dad. Resolution No. 5: Give back. Shawnee Community Services makes this resolution convenient and local. For 20 years, this nonprofit has worked to keep individuals fed and families afloat. Providing a great deal of assistance to Shawnee residents, the organization is looking to expand and provide more service than ever. From volunteering to donating, SCS accepts all kinds of support. Whether or not you find yourself setting a resolution, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in this winter issue—and it’s just fine with us if your only resolution is to read more Shawnee Magazine!

Vol. 4 / No. 2


Departments Contents



shawnee living

A home remodel boasts a touch of Old World sophistication



In Every Issue

03 Dear Reader 40 Q&A 46 best bets


Renaissance revival

In with the old

Consignment furniture can give your home a fresh look

shawnee Businesses

Shawnee’s own sultan of sauce and spice helps the home cook shine—and eat local



Chef’s choice

Thyme travel

Relive the past thanks to Celedine & Thyme’s carefully curated selection of antiques and collectibles

Local profiles 28

Out of kindness

Shawnee Community Services has helped others through tough times for two decades

health & fitness

Meet a few Shawnee residents who enjoy the sport of curling at Ice Midwest



Curling rocks the ice

Getting a healthy glow

Shawnee Mission Medical Center focuses on women

For the Family 42


Distinct design for entertaining

Judy Burge’s refinished home is a stylish respite, ideal for at-home entertaining BY Katy Ryan


Cue the sharks


BY Vince Meserko


get away 44

Local pool players find a home at Sharks Restaurant and Billiards

on the cover

Bill McBride, Kansas City Curling Club. {Photography by Jason Dailey} 36 15 31 28

Kansas City Curling Club breaks the ice Décor for an entertaining spirit Big time billiards in shawnee SCS: A community lifeline

Oh Baby!

Baby nurseries take a turn for the chic

Three Ring Circus

Step right up, there’s far more than swaying palms edging silky beaches in Sarasota



bridget brown’s home

story by

Gloria Gale

photography by

Jason Dailey



A home remodel boasts a touch of Old World sophistication


The iconic image watching over Bridget Brown’s home is all too appropriate. “My


mom’s an artist and painted the Mona Lisa,” says Bridget proudly, pointing to the reproduced portrait on view in the foyer. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous subject would feel right at home in the Brown house as the perfect complement to the “Old World grunge” décor that Bridget claims. But it’s easy to see that Bridget’s home is anything but grunge. Rather, Old World chic with a patina showcasing distressed finishes and deep, rich color is far more applicable. Bridget and her three children, Rose, 13, Lily, 9, and Jack, 6, acknowledge that she has always loved to decorate. Bridget was a stay-at home mom before becoming a real estate agent three years ago, a profession

The elegant home of Bridget Brown is renewed with Old World renovations.

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well-suited for her passion. “I think it’s a good fit since I’m eager to help people and enjoy staging their homes in a cost-saving way,” she says. The family home, on the far western edge of Shawnee, is not only a nod to good taste but a commitment to the area. “After living in Shawnee for 15 years, we didn’t want to switch schools when the boundaries changed, so we decided to move instead,” says Bridget. They bought a spec house that was 90 percent finished, giving them a chance to add the bells and whistles. On top of that, a view outside the living room windows framed a dense thicket of woods, sealing the deal.


The perfect backdrop


After four years at this residence, Bridget says the home reflects her family lifestyle. The house works for a variety of reasons. “We enjoy entertaining, so the house affords us plenty of room,” she says, walking from the entry, a welcoming, oversized area that sets the tone for the rooms beyond. Various remodeling projects are under way or recently completed, “especially in the dining room and kitchen,” Bridget says. Gracious, sophisticated appointments highlight the metallic green dining room, where a black wrought iron “crown” chandelier casts a glow on the dark cherry wood table surrounded with six Chippendale chairs. The living room is currently “in process” as Bridget adds furnishings to the space anchored with an oversize green sofa, coffee table and bookcases flanking one of four fireplaces in the home. “I think we’re on a roll since the dining room just got a floor and the kitchen recently had a facelift,” says Bridget.

Bridget, mother of three and real estate agent, wanted certain elements in her home’s design. Last year she remodeled the basement to reflect her vision, including columns and stately details.



Always looking toward the possibility of resale, Bridget replaced the Corian countertops with granite and changed the slate backsplash to travertine with metallic accents. She believes the new touches enhance the kitchen and accentuate the hearth room that’s decorated in a cheerful, mustard-colored faux finish. “We spend a fair amount of time in both the hearth room and on the deck,” she says. “In part because it’s convenient to the kitchen and the view to the woods is so pretty.” Around the corner from the hearth room, a transformed bedroom now serves as Bridget’s office.

Showtime Late last year, Bridget was selected to be on HGTV’s Bang for Your Buck television program. Rob Riseman, owner of Lee’s Summit-based Response by Design, sent a press release to Bridget and she quickly responded. “[He] nominated us, and the next thing we knew, we were on the show,” says Bridget. The basement, which Bridget and Rob designed and remodeled, would be the subject. Along with two other couples from the Kansas City area, Bridget had only minutes (after two days of taping) to explain how their basement remodel would be a winning candidate

based on a specific budget for the television show. “Together with Rob, and general contractor Don Uthe, we designed the entire space decorated in natural finishes featuring a full wet bar appointed with faux stone columns with Corinthian capitals, recessed arches, two lounge areas and a theater room. “The entire space is enhanced with these wonderful details. I didn’t want to have a basement that looks like everyone else, so I went online, looked up million-dollar homes and rounded up ideas,” says Bridget. The results are nothing short of spectacular and helped Bridget win the showcase. Collectively, the home’s décor reflects Bridget’s preference for Old World style. If there comes a time when the family decides to move, Bridget is convinced this is the area that will sell this house. “With all of the amenities, this is a winner,” she says. sm


bottom left Bridget discovered the home as a spec house before it was completed, allowing her to refine the design with her style.

above The Mona Lisa was re-created by Brown’s mother as an ideal piece for her home.


TOP left The spacious kitchen and hearth room are ideal for




consignment furniture

story by

Kim Antisdel photography by


Tim Andersen


In with the old Consignment furniture can give your home a fresh look

It’s tough to beat the feeling of bringing home a brand-new piece of furniture that takes your space to the next level. But in today’s economic times, brand new might be out of reach. More people are looking for new ways to create the room of their dreams within a realistic budget. Ron and Sherry Jackson and their daughter Ginger can help make fresh design on a small dime happen. Designer Consignment Furniture and Interiors in Shawnee provides a marketplace of gently used furniture and accessories to buyers all over the metro area. With an expert eye and selective taste, the Jacksons make sure the furniture and accessories that fill the store will be an asset to a home. “We don’t buy any new furniture,” Ron says. “Everything here has been gently used, and we screen each item very carefully. If something isn’t up to par, we don’t take it.” From holiday items to lasting pieces of furniture, Designer Consignment Furniture and Interiors in Shawnee is a treasure trove of good finds.

Dr. Philip C. Gaus, DDS

is pleased to announce the opening of his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery practice in Shawnee. He completed training with the United States Air Force in 1987, earned board certification in 1989 and has practiced in Lawrence and eastern Kansas since 1991. You are invited to stop by the new location for any of your treatment needs including extractions, implants and corrective jaw surgery.

Shawnee Oral Surgery, LC is located near the junction of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Kansas Highway 7. Please schedule your appointment now. We look forward to seeing you!

(913) 948-7766 Philip C. Gaus DDS 6844 Silverheel Street • Shawnee, KS 66226




The way the Jacksons see it, a room just isn’t as appealing when it looks catalogperfect. Instead, they believe that employing textures and pieces from a variety of eras creates interest visually and emotionally. “We want that character of our past in our homes now,” says Sherry. “The things we bring into our store have already been loved by other people. It’s our goal to show them to other people, and they can continue that love in a new way.” While the Jacksons realize there may be a stigma attached to used furniture, they want people to know that consignment doesn’t mean dirty or discarded pieces. Professionals all over the city are turning to consignment furniture and accessories to give their spaces a wow factor.


right Ginger and Sherry Jackson are the masterminds behind Designer Consignment in Shawnee. Husband and father Ron helps as well.

Robin Frank, an interior designer with Vision Interiors in Leavenworth, frequently brings in her customers to uncover their next find. “The store is a treasure trove of beautiful items,” Frank says. “I always say it’s great to shop in someone else’s closet, and that’s what this really is. It’s a wonderful source.” She relies on Designer Consignment Furniture to provide her clients with a distinctive look, especially when designing custom homes. One of her favorite items to purchase is a “once-again” chair. “I can’t go to a furniture store and find just any chair for a custom bedroom,” she says. “I love to find a beautiful used chair, pull the old seat out, put a new seat in and upholster it in one of my own store fabrics.” Consignment furniture can fashion a fresh look for a home, but choosing the right piece from a 5,000-square-foot store can be daunting. That’s where Ginger’s passion for interior design comes in. “Ginger pulls from the wonderful stock of items we get and arranges them in beautiful vignettes,” says Sherry. “The vignettes are then photographed and placed



on the website. We show those who are viewing our website how you can take from this home and from that home and put together a style unique to your own home.” The benefits to decorating with consignment furniture are numerous. Purchasing gently used items keeps pieces out of the landfill and does wonders for a tight budget. “I was raised to be frugal, and that is how my daughter was raised,” says Sherry. “That way of thinking is truly en vogue and in style right now.” To further offer customers an opportunity to own unique pieces, Designer Consignment selects some furnishings with “good bones and character.” These pieces come into the store with damage, scratches or a finish that isn’t appealing. But rather than seeing a hopeless cause, the Jacksons recognize potential and let customers choose how to refinish the piece. “Painting it, sanding it and just taking that loved piece and by refinishing it, blending it into their personalized decorating theme,” says Sherry. “We try to encourage everyone to think it’s the mix, not the match, when it comes to modern day decorating.” Consignment furniture and accessories also can provide an authentic aged look. “Faux wood or imitation wood just don’t have the quality and structure that these older pieces have,” Sherry says. Perhaps that’s why items in the store don’t hang around to collect dust. “Our consigners bring fabulous, unusual and unique items into our store, and our customers appreciate the non-stereotype of our home furnishings inventory,” she says. “Because of this, items do not last very long on the floor.” But when a few items wear out their welcome at Designer Consignment, the Jacksons still refuse to give up on them. “We believe in donating to another avenue rather than just having items picked up,” Sherry says. “We donate to agencies like The Church of the Resurrection and Mid-America Child Services that help people who have been displaced from homes to set up their housekeeping. Anytime we donate, it truly helps people.” sm

Designer Consignment Furniture and Interiors 12205 Shawnee Mission Parkway (913) 268-3330



Shawnee MiSSion


11501 Shawnee Mission Parkway (4 lights west of I-35 on Shawnee Mission Pkwy)

(913) 631-0000 Shawnee, KS 66203

Serving the Greater Kansas City area for over 50 Years!



f o r e n t e r ta i n i n g

Judy Burge’s refinished home is a stylish respite, ideal for at-home entertaining stor y by Kat y Ryan

photography by jason dailey


f t e r l i v i n g i n h e r 2 4 - y e a ro l d h o m e fo r 17 ye a rs, Judy Burge decided the 1½-stor y residence n e e d e d a m a ke ove r.

At the urging of her daughter, Burge opted to work with an interior decorator, which she says “is not something that someone like me would normally do. My daughter told me I was going to be making big decisions on colors, curtains and other topics and that I should get professional advice.” In her career as a senior director and head of central region for clinical operations at Quintiles, Burge says she’s become accustomed to goals and deadlines, relevant experience that made the decorating process a little easier. The hardest part? Getting started. “It felt very rewarding just to move forward. I really felt the momentum, and I had the goal in mind,” she says. Although Burge’s home renovation wouldn’t be classified as a full-scale redo, the three and a half month project transformed the home’s main level, adding what Burge calls “a lot of cosmetic appeal.” New lighting, bedding, curtains and a renovated master bathroom, complete with new tile, comprised several components of the home improvement. Burge says the entryway was also redone and new tiling was installed around the fireplace. Those two steps, in addition to the bathroom renovation, provided the initial framework that would influence

The living room also serves as the display area for what judy Burge describes as “a special picture.” Titled Mother’s Nature, the large canvas is painted by Burge’s son-in-law, Matt Shepherd.

Judy Burge, with the encouragement of her daughter, overhauled the décor in her living and dining room with the help of an interior decorator.

top right Judy and her husband, Jack, in their sophisticated living room.

the colors and design of the other rooms. “I think the decisions that I made there drove a lot of my future decisions,” Burge says. “I’m fairly opinionated, but could also see that the decorator was guiding me—it seemed very natural.” Once those tasks were completed, the discussion turned to colors and things Burge likes. From there, she says, “it was fairly simple.” Furnishings, colors and floor coverings were carefully selected to enhance the living room’s extensive existing woodwork, which includes a wall of paned windows, wood wainscoting and hardwood floors. Cooler neutrals, including gray and a smoky blue—seen in the plush armchairs, inviting couch and simple yet elegant window treatments—offset the warmth of the wood. A patterned rug unites golden, brown and blue hues, while strategically placed lamps add a soft glow that complements the ample amount of natural light produced by the numerous windows. The living room also serves as the display area for what Burge describes as “a special picture.” Titled Mother’s Nature, the large canvas is painted by Burge’s son-in-law, Matt Shepherd. “It really makes a wonderful addition in the living room,” she says. In the dining room, new wall colors, window treatments and lighting transform the space. Red walls and a pendant light were eschewed in favor of a warm, relaxing moss green hue that was

also applied on the inner rim of the room’s striking tray ceiling. A graceful chandelier adds an eye-catching focal point, while dual lamps positioned on a nearby buffet provide dimension and a warm glow. The existing hardwood floors were partially covered with a large floral rug that enhances the room’s nature-inspired décor, including branch arrangements and quietly patterned window sheers. Despite Burge’s initial hesitation at working with an interior decorator, she says the decision “is the best thing I ever did.” By working efficiently and incorporating some of her existing furniture, Burge says she and her husband, Jack, were able to keep costs down. “I was so surprised when I heard my husband bragging about our savings later on,” she says with a laugh. “That’s the true test of success.” Thanks to the home’s sophistication and warmth, Burge says she feels she now has “a very livable home” and an ideal space for entertaining. “I’ve done so much more entertaining now that the home has been redone,” she says. “Work events,

“I’m fairly opinionated, but could also see that the decorator was guiding me—it seemed very natural.” - Judy Burge

The dramatic dining room is a heavenly place for entertaining which Judy loves to do.

top right The renovated master bathroom is ideal for relaxing.

lunch for 60, parties—I have learned how to entertain.” Burge credits her willingness to host more gatherings to a new, peaceful mindset in regard to home entertaining—something that was truly tested toward the end of the renovation. Burge had scheduled a large party to coincide with the project’s completion, yet unforeseen delays pushed back the original timeline. The work was completed, as they say, in the nick of time—just one day before the scheduled soiree. “Entertaining is something you can do well with practice,” she says. “I used to freak out and throw my whole family into stress mode, and now I don’t because there are definitely better ways to do it.” In addition to realizing the benefits of working with her professional interior decorator, Jill Tran, Burge says she learned something about herself throughout the process. “I do know what I like,” she says. “I may not be able to articulate it in decorating terms, but I know what I want, and I’m very, very pleased.” sm


businesses story by

Kimberly Winter Stern

photography by

Tim Andersen



Shawnee’s own sultan of sauce and spice

helps the home cook shine—and eat local


Chef Mark Alan Mollentine grew up in an Italian-American family where gatherings were boisterous and centered around food. Mollentine remembers Sundays when pots of sugo made from a generations old recipe bubbled on the stove all day, ready to be spooned over al dente pasta, and homemade stews and soups were ladled into large bowls accompanied by chunks


of homemade breads. The family gathered around buffet tables loaded with meat, dairy and side dishes made from local produce and desserts featuring fruit plucked from groaning branches of a tree in Mollentine’s backyard. The aromas alone are still part of his vivid foodcentric memory bank. To this day Mollentine prefers sustenance that comes from the earth’s bounty. Awestruck by the food he was exposed to as a youngster,

Chef Mark Alan Mollentine is updating the home menu. His all-natural Chef Mark Alan Seasoning Blends are reinventing meals throughout the metro area.

Mollentine unknowingly invented the mantra that would become his company’s tagline decades later: Simple solutions for flavorful foods. “My childhood was full of simple food that was extraordinary because of its ingredients,” he says. Indeed, Mollentine travels through life with an appetite. He won a high school home economics prize for flaky-crusted cherry pie and later worked in a sales job that evolved into opening hospitality

Christmas Around Town December



businesses suites and organizing events in cities such as Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio. Eventually he ended up at culinary school in Dallas. More than 20 years after making that fortuitous decision to pursue a life whose centerpiece is good food, Mollentine is at the forefront of Kansas City’s prolific locavore movement. He leads a charge of other career foodies including chefs and artisans who focus on the idea that eating locally produced items such as meat, vegetables and dairy can be a 12-month proposition. “Just because tomato plants don’t yield fruit in winter doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating local,” says Mollentine. “There’s a rich harvest year-round to enjoy.” Since 2004, Mollentine, who is also Kansas City-based Gear for Sports corporate chef and Good Natured Family Farm’s consulting chef, has been involved with Hen House Markets’ “Buy Fresh Buy Local” campaign that gives “My childhood was full shoppers access to regionally grown foods. of simple food that was Diana Endicott, extraordinary because of its founder of the Good ingredients.” Natured Family Farms alli– Mark Alan Mollentine ance with husband Gary, says Mollentine has been a great asset for the local food movement. “He’s been an essential part of what we do in the community, connecting the consumer with the farmers,” she says. Mollentine, along with other Kansas City chefs like Jasper Mirabile Jr. of the iconic Jasper’s Restaurant, consults with Hen House executives on strategy to help shoppers understand how to incorporate locally grown and sustainable foods in their meal plans.

“It’s great to have a basket overflowing with locally grown Swiss chard, rutabaga and squash. But until you cook it, it’s just a bunch of ingredients,” says Mollentine. “I help translate foods into recipes that people can enjoy at home.” Mollentine conducts cooking demonstrations and educates consumers about the health and economic benefits of using food grown in the field or raised on a farm in the community. Mirabile, one of Kansas City’s earliest proponents of sustainable food, works with Mollentine to present these demonstrations throughout Kansas City. “Mark is so creative when adapting local ingredients to heirloom dishes, and his enthusiasm is endless,” he says. Mollentine realized during one of those hands-on cooking demos five years ago that his food philosophy could be developed into a product for people to grab from a grocery store shelf. A woman approached him one day following a session on homemade sauces. “‘I love

For more information on Chef Mark Alan’s products, visit



In addition to seasonings, Mollentine has developed a line of finishing sauces and instant sauces as an alternative to the classic standbys.


businesses your recipes and your ideas,’ she said to me. She suggested I bottle my sauce,” says Mollentine. That moment became Mollentine’s epiphany. Under the name of Chef Mark Alan, the ambitious chef created all-natural sauces to accompany poultry, beef and seafood. He worked with David Ball, president and owner of Ball’s Hen House Markets, and the stores’ team of meat and seafood managers to perfect his recipes, labeling, bottles and product display. “That million-dollar dream team critiqued the balance of flavors and the packaging,” says Mollentine. “It was spectacular.” Chef Mark Alan’s Finishing Sauces debuted in 2006. The Roasted Red Pepper Aioli is the most popular in the boutique line of five versatile, small-batch produced sauces that contain no MSG or artificial dyes. They are also low in sodium and free of fat. “The sauces add robust flavor to protein, casseroles, pastas, meatloaf and stews. The possibilities are endless,” he says. The chef says his favorite bottled sauce is Asian Citrus Soy. “It’s like asking me to pick a favorite child, but I love the fresh flavor of this Asianstyle sauce that has coriander, toasted sesame, orange and soy sauce,” says Mollentine. There are also seven seasoning blends, including Steak Supreme, Rio Grande and Coastal Blend, and four packaged sauce mixes that require only the addition of water, wine or broth to complete a meal. “People say my products help them do the heavy lifting in the kitchen,” says

Mollentine. “That means I’ve achieved my job in allowing the home cook to prepare simple but exquisite meals.” Recently Mollentine founded the KC Food Artisans, a group of food producers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs whose products range from hot sauces and salsa to candy, baking mixes and soda. He describes the venture, which has nearly 20 members and more than 4,000 newsletter subscribers, as the next chapter in his remarkable food journal. “It’s about building awareness of eating local products and giving cooks the confidence they want to turn out great food,” says Mollentine. sm

For more information on the KC Food Artisans, visit

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businesses Celedine & Thyme 11007 Johnson Drive (913) 268-4498



Relive the past thanks to Celedine & Thyme’s carefully curated selection of antiques and collectibles


11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Friday and Saturday

11 a.m.-6 p.m.

story by

Katy Ryan

photography by

Jason Dailey


Celedine & Thyme shop owner Pat Kimmel has been on an odyssey. A journey of sorts led Kimmel and the store’s designer/decorator, Toni Schene, to locations throughout Kansas and Missouri. “It took us from mid October of last year to get all of the merchandise gathered,” Kimmel says. “We put a lot of work and effort into finding


shelving—the farthest we went to get a shelf was St. Joseph.” As part of that hunt, Kimmel put a successful bid on a 100-year-old barn in Bonner Springs, the materials from which are visible throughout the shop. Pieces of tin from the barn were used to cover another part of a wall, creating a rustic aesthetic that serves as an ideal backdrop for the antiques—and gives Kimmel a priceless connection to her roots.

left Pat Kimmel followed her dream and opened an antiques store, Celedine & Thyme in Shawnee.

right Leading up to the opening of the store, Kimmel traveled throughout the Midwest searching for inventory, which included remnants from a barn that she incorporated into the store’s display.

“I grew up on a farm; I really love barns. The materials give the store an older feel,” she says. Just as barns remind Kimmel of her youth, the entrepreneur says she’s “always enjoyed antiques. I’ve loved pretty things, knickknacks, plates—I’ve liked glittery things since I was a child.” That love is apparent as some of the items in Celedine & Thyme come straight from Kimmel’s own collection, yet she says a majority of the

Funeral Home & Crematory

Memories onored H


businesses goods are purchased on consignment. The shop was originally designed to house small booths for independent antiques dealers. But after considering the business model, Kimmel decided to move in another direction. “We’ve got four to five different little sections, but I knew from my days renting shelf space that it can sometimes be tough to make rent or generate enough income,” she says. Walk into Celedine & Thyme and you’ll find yourself surrounded by an eclectic, carefully arranged variety of antiques and collectible items. As Kimmel details the story of the store’s opening and preparations, a Shawnee woman stops in on a mission. She’s searching for a teacup to take to a tea and swap party at her church. She peruses several selections while chatting with Kimmel, who asks if she’s been to the store before. “This is my first time,” she says. “I didn’t know you were here until I drove by and saw your sign.”


The selection is so large, it’s easy to lose yourself in the painted glassware, china, dolls, accessories and numerous other treasures. Part of Kimmel’s ongoing duties as shop owner are researching various antiques dealers and learning to recognize patterns or other signature elements of each manufacturer’s work. Since Celedine & Thyme’s June opening, Kimmel says business has been great. She’s grateful to the surrounding smallbusiness community for its support in welcoming “the new kid on the block.” The business culture in Shawnee was one of many reasons Kimmel committed to her shop’s space on Johnson Drive.


The store features a variety of items that are unique and affordable.


businesses “We looked at quite a few other spaces but didn’t find anything with the right feel until we came here,” she says. “The surrounding retailers really helped us make the decision. We complement each other.” Kimmel continues to scout antiques and collectibles to add to the shop and relies on consignment acquisitions to fill the rest of Celedine & Thyme’s inventory. A flower cooler has been added, and Kimmel hopes to offer fresh floral arrangements in the near future. Despite the hard work and occasional long hours that result from owning a retail business, Kimmel says she enjoys every second of it, especially interacting with customers and hearing their stories. “I’ve always told my kids that if I had to shut the doors tomorrow, I can’t be sad because I’ve lived my dream. Not many people can say that,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine a more fun business. I get to meet people and help them find what they’re looking for.” sm

Pat’s Picks

It’s difficult to identify favorites in such a sizable collection, yet Celedine & Thyme owner Pat Kimmel says she definitely has preferences when it comes to particular items. Her picks include:

Teacups. Kimmel always has loved teacups and would have a large collection of her own if she had a hutch in which to store them. Celedine & Thyme carries several varieties of the delicate drinking vessels, available both as one-of-a-kind finds or as part of larger tea or china sets. Wagon wheels. Look closely at Celedine & Thyme’s front window and you’ll see two wagon wheels as part of the display. Kimmel is especially proud of these finds, which she picked up around Kearney, because “they have a lot of wood on the rim. Finding that is really something.” Hand-painted glassware.

A set of glasses adorned with hand-painted leaves and flowers are part of a display toward the front of Celedine & Thyme. The craftsmanship is admirable, but what’s even more impressive is the story behind them. “They were my mom’s,” Kimmel says. “I remember her keeping them up in a cupboard, and we never used them. She took them with her when she moved, and I later found them in another cupboard.”

A GreAt MArketinG tool for your Business to advertise contact

Mary Hay E-Mail: Phone: 913.631.1611


profiles shawnee community services story by

Carolyn Glade Dvorak

photography by

Tim Andersen

Out of kindness sHawneemagazine

Shawnee Community Services has helped others through tough times for two decades


What difference can a box of food make? For some in Shawnee and the surrounding Kansas City metropolitan area, it can mean a full meal and the chance to concentrate on other needs. For Shawnee Community Services, it means a commitment to filling boxes since 1990. The organization, legally incorporated as the Community Center of Shawnee Inc., is open six days a week and offers free bread, clothing, a food pantry and an ongoing garage sale. Shawnee Community Services volunteer Carlos Lopez remains grateful for the help SCS provided him during an injury. He now returns to assist the organization.


profiles “If people can be fed, they can think about the next thing—like shelter and a job,” says Sylvia Terry, executive director. “We see 150 families a day come through our door for some kind of bread products.” That doesn’t include the 280 families a month that receive food from the pantry and the others who come to browse through the garage sale items, adds Terry. Besides food and clothing, the organization offers limited emergency cash assistance to help with such things as utilities, medications, bus fare or even a tank of gas. Evelyn VanKemseke, president of the agency, works with people who come in for assistance. She will guide them to other groups that can provide long-term help. Shawnee Community Services (SCS) is open to anyone, which is one of its main advantages. No one is eliminated on the basis of income, ZIP code or lacking the correct paperwork from a government organization. “It doesn’t matter where you live; you can get help,” Terry says. The Community Center of Shawnee Inc. began in 1982 as neighbor helping neighbor, with VanKemseke spearheading an after-school recreation program at Johnson Drive and Pflumm Road. In December 1990 the group sold that property to the City of Shawnee (now home to the Shawnee Civic Center) and acquired its current location. With less acreage, the organization shifted its focus from providing child care to helping people in need, beginning with the daily garage sale. Terry became involved 18 years ago while seeking a better job. “I was looking for something more rewarding than fast food,” she says. She’d also channeled her roots of growing up with a mother who volunteered. “I had done volunteer work since the time I was 10,” Terry says. Helping at SCS became the answer; now she helps lead the organization. Because SCS operates solely on donations and a few small grants, volunteer help is invaluable. The organization doesn’t keep track of the number of people who volunteer because help comes in many forms. However, the organization does count volunteer hours, and last year 5,974 hours were recorded.

need to get by.

bottom Sylvia Terry, executive director, has worked with SCS for 18 years.

11110 W. 67th St. (913) 268-7746 Monday-friday

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

8 a.m.-4 p.m. Susan Colston began volunteering after SCS came to her family’s aid when her husband had surgery and was laid off. “They really helped us out during that time period,” Colston says. “I’ve tried since then to help out and pay back a little of what they did for me.” She’s been a regular for 15 years. Working with people of all ages and walks of life, SCS has seen the number of people being helped in all areas increase during the past two years. Terry explains that food pantry use is 20 percent higher than in 2008, and the number of those using the limited emergency cash assistance has tripled. “Some of these people just need a little bit of help here and there to make ends meet,” Colston says. Limited space has actually resulted in SCS turning away some offers of food


top From food, clothing, furniture and housewares, SCS has just about anything that people might

Shawnee Community Services


or goods, making it difficult to meet the increased needs of the clientele. The agency’s answer to the constraint: expand. The 2,300-square-foot building is 40 years old and cannot be expanded under current city codes. Plans are currently in place for a $1.4 million, 10,300-squarefoot new building on the current lot. When the additional funds are finally available, the existing building will be demolished to construct the new facility. The larger building will create space for commercial grade walk-in freezers, a designated area for food from a federal commodities food program, places for classrooms, clothing, household goods and office space for the staff. “We’re not trying to build the Taj Mahal, we’re just trying to have a facility we can use to meet the needs of people and the staff,” says Terry. Carlos Lopez received help from SCS after getting hurt. Now every Friday he goes to the center, picks up one of the trucks and drives to Harvesters to collect available items for the food pantry. He also helps box food and when needed will deliver it to people who cannot make it to the center and provide repair work on the vehicles. Lopez says when he makes home deliveries, children’s eyes will light up over something as simple as milk or a sweatshirt. “When you help those who really need it, it’s more than worthwhile,” he says. “We want to be thankful to God for how blessed we are.” sm

How to help Volunteer. Assistance is always welcome, as individuals or groups. Purchase items at the garage sale. Sylvia Terry notes this is the major source of income for SCS emergency cash assistance. Contribute to the Kansas SCS Fund. This is fund was set up to administer the building fund. Donate money or food for the pantry. Shop online to benefit SCS at

story by Vince Meserko photography by tim andersen

Local pool players find a home at Sharks Restaurant and Billiards

Cue the sharks

There’s nobody with a nickname like “Fast Eddie” or “Cue Ball Maloney.” There are no hustlers, no grizzled veterans puffing cigars, sharpening their cues or flashy upstarts with an intricate shot. Nope. Not inside Shawnee’s expansive billiards establishment Sharks Restaurant and Billiards. Despite its lack of glitzy Color of Money excess, Sharks is home to several committed pool players who make the weekly jaunt down Shawnee Mission Parkway for some competition. Some are just starting, some have played for more than a decade and some are trying to regain the stroke and make it to the national tournament in Las Vegas.

Jesse Heflin has been playing pool for more than a decade. He began in 1998, and after only a year of playing, his team took fifth place out of 520 teams at the American Poolplayers Association Open 8-Ball Tournament in Las Vegas. Heflin’s style of play is cerebral, strategic and, above all, incredibly safe. “In the last year I’ve developed a better mental game,” says Heflin. “I trust my shot now instead of worrying about what I have to do to put the ball there. I try to leave myself in a natural position.” The natural position is the hallmark of Heflin’s game; “a duck makes a duck makes a duck” is his way of describing the process. Making these ducks is not always easy, but if he reads the table correctly, he can set himself up for those sought-after easy shots. “You have to look two or three balls ahead. It’s all about patterns and taking a high percentage ball. [You should] manipulate the cue ball or the object ball, then everything else is natural,” he says. According to Heflin, many players put a lot of draw on the cue ball so it spins backward after it strikes the object ball. Heflin prefers the “follow shot,” where the cue ball continues moving forward after striking the object ball. “I’ll tell everyone who plays for me that you’ll be a better pool player if you learn to follow instead of draw,” he says. The draw shot might look cool, but Heflin’s style is no frills and all smarts. “I’ve had to rely on very smart play. Safety play. That’s my trademark. It’s a chess match, and I’ll make it a chess match. I’ll force them to make a mistake,” he says.

The veteran

Young gun

If Heflin is the wily veteran of the group, then Chelsea Earhart is the up-and-comer who has been blessed with a wave of beginner’s luck. “I was just up here with some friends one night and they asked me to fill in for somebody. I won my first match. It was a highlight for sure, but I haven’t done as well since,” Earhart says jokingly. “I knew nothing about pool when I started playing in this league,” she says. Because she has played for less than a year, she is willing to take some chances. “I feel like I have nothing to lose most of the time,” she says. Earhart chalks up any success she’s had to luck. “I’ve hit some really amazing bank shots, but usually it’s just luck and slop,” she says. Her best night playing pool so far came as an underdog against a more skilled opponent. “I heard some guys talk down about me and my skill ability, and then I ended up beating them and taking the whole match,” she says. “It was sweet vindication.”

Return to victory

Robby Parten sits somewhere between Heflin’s experience and Earhart’s luck. Parten used to play pool three or four times a week, even winning a couple of area tournaments. He stopped playing for a couple of years and is just now getting back in the game and rediscovering his skills. “It’s slowly happening. One day I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. Another day I feel like my old self,” he says. Parten’s strategy is open-ended and subject to change based on the circumstances of the game. “I have to read my opponent before I can decide what my strategy is,” he says. “I’m brand new in this league. I only know a couple of guys here. I’m at the mercy of someone on my team telling me what this guy’s like or what that girl’s like.” While Parten is trying to figure out his opponents, he’s also trying to figure out how to regain his touch with the cue ball. “When I’m on my game, which I haven’t been on in a while, I can usually get the cue ball to go where I want,” he says. Getting his chops back might not take as long as he thinks. It’s the nature of the game itself, he says. “It can change one shot to the next. You can look like you’ve never played before and then run the table out if you just concentrate.” sm

Get in the game Are billiards not your thing? Sharks offers plenty of other leagues and tournaments. Leagues currently forming:

Monday: 3-2 leagues, dart leagues Tuesday: Ladies dart leagues Wednesday: BCA pool league Thursday: Dart leagues and APA 8-ball league Pool tournaments:

Saturday 9-ball tournament, 3 p.m. $12 entry fee, $2 greens fee Sunday 8-ball/9-ball rotating tournament, 6 p.m. $12 entry fee, $2 greens fee Ping Pong tournaments:

Tuesday night tournament, 7 p.m. $5 entry fee Dart tournaments:

Monday, doubles league, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, blind draw, 8 p.m. Friday, blind draw, 8 p.m. Sunday, blind draw, 3 p.m.

Sharks Restaurant & Billiards 10320 Shawnee Mission Parkway (913) 268-4006

Health &

fitness story by

Linda A. Thompson

photography by

Jason Dailey

Curling rocks

the ice

Meet a few Shawnee residents who enjoy the sport of curling at Ice Midwest


Each weekend a group of athletes can be found on the rink at Pepsi Ice Midwest in Overland Park—and none of them wear skates. They sound crazy, but in fact, they are just curlers. Members of the Kansas City Curling Club enjoy a sport that dates to 16th century Scotland.


Kansas City Curling Club

Bill McBride, the club’s membership and communications chairman, notes that curling stands out in the world of winter sports. “Prior to curling being an Olympic sport, when I explain to people [that] I slide big rocks on the ice and use brooms while I play, people looked at me like I was crazy,” he says. “Now with the TV exposure every four years, they arrive knowing more and are readily accepting.” More than 600 people contacted the club after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. As a result, McBride says he taught close to 500 people how to curl, while in a normal winter he might only teach about 100. Club members range in age from 10 to 78, and McBride himself started playing the sport at age 10 in the Chicago area. “It’s a physical sport. It can leave you a bit sore and breathless, but it’s not a difficult sport to learn,” he says. Shawnee resident Lori Behnke decided to give curling a try in 2007, also because of the Olympic Games, and fell in love with it. “It’s a very easy sport to learn. Just go to an open house or a ‘Learn to Curl,’ and you pretty much will know how to play,” she says. Newbie Sabine Orloff of Shawnee, who tried the sport for the first time during the 2010 summer league, was a bit intimidated during her first time on the ice. However, by the end of her first lesson she wanted to jump into a game and keep playing. “You don’t have to invest a lot of money to get started. And you don’t really need a lot of skill to play this sport. It’s a sport that doesn’t devalue you. Everybody can do this,” says Orloff.

Bill McBride, in perfect form, sweeps the ice for the stone as it slides toward the house (goal mark).

David Huston, left, Lori Behnke and McBride have all become ambassadors of the Kansas City Curling Club and the sport’s increased popularity.

Curling 101 According to the Kansas City Curling Club, the sport of curling is easy to learn. All you need to get started are layered, loose-fitting clothes and rubber-soled shoes to grip the ice. The club has all the other necessary equipment players need.

The basics

The game is played on an ice surface called a sheet. It is 142 feet long with a 12-foot circular target called the “house” at either end. The object for each of the four team members is to slide and spin 40-pound curling stones from one end of the ice (hack) to the other (house). The team whose stone is closest to the center of the house scores a point and receives more points if more than one stone is closer to the tee than the opponents’ stone.


Each player sends two stones down the ice for each turn. Team members help the stone slide to the best spot by sweeping curling brooms on the ice in front of the stone. When all 16 stones (eight for each team) are played, an end is complete and points are tallied. After six to eight ends, the team with the most points wins.


Smack talk is not a part of curling. Before each game, the players shake hands, introduce themselves and wish each other good luck. During a match, players offer encouragement after a bad shot or congratulate players on a good one, and afterward shake hands again. A little goodnatured ribbing is as bad as it gets.


David Huston, 58, owner of Olson Manufacturing and Distribution, has played for seven years. He knew of curling as a boy in Iowa but was introduced to the sport when McBride spoke to the Shawnee Rotary Club. Though strength and endurance are a part of the sport, McBride describes it more as a game of balance and getting the right touch on the stones to be successful. Huston also points out that curling is one of the few sports where men and women compete equally. “It’s not like golf where there’s a women’s tee and a men’s tee. You push off from the same hack and use the same stones. It is truly a sport where the women are as good as, or better than, the men,” he says. Behnke agrees. “It’s something everyone can learn and love. Families can play together, or if you’re single, there are other single people who play. And don’t worry about your skill level. Everyone is at a different level and is just out there to have fun.” Orloff quickly saw the benefits of curling after her divorce. It was “not only a way to meet people, but also a way to get into a club that had a physical aspect to it without joining a gym.” And everyone enjoys “broomstacking,” when players gather at a local establishment after the game. This tradition stems from curling’s early days when participants would stack their brooms on the ice and sit in front of a fire to socialize. The Kansas City Curling Club has three six-week leagues during the fall and winter, with a champion named in each. The club also hosts a Bonspiel tournament for a weekend in the summer when teams travel from across the United States and Canada to compete here. “We have traveling teams who play in Bonspiels in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago, Omaha and any of the 150 curling club in the United States or thousands throughout the world,” says McBride. “Each year we can also send teams to play in the regional playdowns that lead to either national or world competition play based on gender or age groups.” McBride sees room for growth in the local curling world. “Our club will grow as much as there is interest and ice is available,” he says. sm


Health &

fitness story by

Claire M. Caterer

photography by

Jason Dailey

Getting a

healthy glow Shawnee Mission Medical Center focuses on women


Some women join to learn more about their bodies. Some enjoy saving a few dollars on a class or massage. Some want to connect with other women. Regardless of their reason for joining, they are all finding a new kind of glow and improving their health.


The Center for Women’s Health (913) 676-2220

Glow—Generations Living Out Wellness—is a program run by the Center for Women’s Health at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Merriam. Jessica Wahaus, a journalism student at the University of Kansas, recently joined Glow. The program has prompted her to think about her life as well as her health. “What are the life decisions that you’re going to make to have a healthy future in 10 years, 20 years, the rest of your life?” she says. “This program really encourages women and empowers women to make those decisions, and it’s a stepping stone to helping you make those decisions.” Wahaus appreciates that the program addresses all aspects of a woman’s life. “It’s really about betterment in your life overall, not just going to the doctor and making sure you’re healthy,” she says. Glow is designed to help women improve various aspects of their lives by providing everything from reminders for regular cancer screenings to seminars on combating the effects of menopause. At coffee groups, formal lectures and other events, Glow members find the motivation to monitor and improve their well-being. The aim is to gather information and resources for busy women, who often tend to their health only after they get sick. “We wanted it to be more of a proactive, preventative type of program,” says Rebecca Bailey, marketing and communications specialist at the medical center and Glow coordinator. Launched in August 2008, the program now boasts almost 400 members.

Rebecca Bailey, left, and Charlene Wallace work with the glow program as part of the Center for Women’s Health at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

below Various classes, seminars and gatherings are offered as part of the glow—Generations Living Out Wellness–program.

below right Charles Boyce teaches glow members basic self-defense.

girlfriends can make you feel better,” she says, which is why events are designed to make all aspects of a woman’s life easier and more fulfilling. Exclusive to Glow are also the free “lunch and learn” events that Bailey coordinates throughout the year to highlight specific topics. Bailey recently hosted a session about basic auto maintenance, while another featured a Merriam police officer speaking on self-defense. At the heart of Glow is whole health: keeping fit, making social connections and learning more about how the body works and how alternate therapies can be useful. “It’s more than just health care,” says Wahaus. “It’s helping women out with every aspect of life.” sm

Getting your Glow The Center for Women’s Health makes joining Glow easy. Women can register by phone or by downloading and mailing in the online form with a $15 membership fee, which grants a three-year membership. The center also operates the Women’s Health Line, a hotline that’s available 24/7, (913) 676-2220. It’s separate from the general Ask-a-Nurse line that Shawnee Mission Medical Center runs (callers should select the option for the Glow program).


Membership perks include admittance to Glow’s exclusive programming and discounts for classes and retail partners throughout the metro area. Participating retailers rotate regularly but have included Theatre in the Park in Shawnee, spas and salons throughout the Kansas City area and Scooter’s Coffeehouse on Shawnee Mission Parkway. Angie Lickliter, owner of Scooter’s Coffeehouse in Overland Park, recently hosted a coffee hour at her store for members to gather, network and enjoy discounted beverages. She also provided space for a heart-health screening. “The Glow program helps make women realize that they need to take time out for their health and themselves as well,” says Lickliter. Registered nurse Charlene Wallace, manager of the Center for Women’s Health, agrees. “We just need to slow down,” she says. “That’s the message: It’s OK to take care of yourself.” Wallace participates regularly in Glow events, including the Evening for Women, a mini-conference offered twice a year at various medical center-affiliated practices. Members get a discount to attend the event, where women get screenings for blood glucose, cholesterol and bladder health, among other things. Wallace talks with women about breast cancer risks at her station. “We [also] have someone there to talk to people about emotional concerns,” she says, referring to the behavioral health representative. Wallace is proud of the far-reaching aspects of the program, particularly as it highlights the services the medical center has to offer. Dozens of classes, from yoga and tai chi to parent education and Alzheimer’s information, are discounted for Glow participants. “People are more apt to sign up for one of the classes and try it out if they know they’re getting a bargain,” says Wallace. While knowledge is important, Wallace thinks one of Glow’s greatest benefits is motivating women to live healthfully. “Diet and nutrition and exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, it’s the hardest thing to do,” she says. “But study after study has found that those things really do contribute to wellness.” Bailey agrees that bodily health is the focus, but she stresses that Glow has some social benefits too. “Just having a day out with your


Q& A

Interview conducted, condensed and edited by Katy Ibsen. Photograph by Jason Dailey.


Holly Schreiber

wonderful than anyone else. There are tons of great teachers out there. But I think one of the things that probably stands out is I do a pretty good job of building relationships with kids. Because of those relationships, it’s pretty effective in helping them. You gain trust, and they know that you are there for them and that you care about them when they might think you are being mean because you’re not letting them do what they want or something like that. I think it’s the building the relationships with the colleagues and with parents and kids that probably is the reason why I was nominated.

Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominee


Third grade, Maize Elementary School


When we first learned of Holly Schreiber’s nomination as Kansas Teacher of the Year, we couldn’t wait to interview her. She wasted no time telling us how her husband, Andy, had just learned of our publication. “When he discovered it, he was like, ‘Did you know everything in here is about Shawnee?’ ‘Well, yes honey because it’s the Shawnee Magazine,’” she says, and we both chuckle. We wanted to know how she inspired students. “One of the things that they asked in the application process of Teacher of the Year is, ‘What would your message be?’” she says. “I wrote that there’s a lot of publicity nowadays about all the bad things in education, and … I’m a very firm believer that education is not broken.” This Shawnee resident, thirdgrade teacher, mom of two and advocate for today’s students, teachers, administrators, schools, districts and families hopes to spread this message on behalf of Kansas teachers.

What does this honor mean to you?

What inspired you to become a teacher?

It was kind of by accident. I had always wanted to help people, but I had actually gone to college as a pre-med major. That didn’t really work out very well for me. … In seventh grade, my algebra teacher was Mrs. Betsy Weins, and she was incredible. … Initially I thought I wanted to [help people] through the medical profession, and then I kind of changed my path and decided to do that through the education profession. Who was your mentor while studying to be a teacher?

Mrs. Elvera Bergsten, who had taught for probably 28 years. She was my cooperating teacher, so I did my student teaching for her. And I kind of went in with the idea of, “Oh [goodness], this lady’s been teaching for 28 years. She’s probably burnt out. Just wants the student teacher to do her work for her.” You know, that kind of mentality. She was phenomenal. Why do you think you were nominated to be Teacher of the Year?

It’s a very humbling experience, so I’m not sure I do anything spectacular or more

It’s just truly an honor because I work with, and I always have worked with, great teachers, and so it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work that I do. But being nominated means I can represent everybody else that’s working just as hard as I am. That’s one of the messages of the Kansas Teacher of the Year program—to be a representative of all teachers. It’s not about me; it’s not about what I do. It’s about being the best spokesperson, if you would, for education in Kansas. How are you shaping young minds in the classroom?

I hope I’m helping the kids become selfmotivated and, through some of that relationship building, enabling them to be lifelong learners. The fact that they’re aware of their needs as a learner and they’re aware of what helps them learn the best. … Even third-graders are capable of that, and I’m hoping that they’ll carry that with them so that they can continue to learn and be successful no matter how far they go, whether they go to college or not. If you had a magic teacher lamp and three wishes, what would they be?

1.) Students to have [an] open mind that everyone is different and that’s OK and to still be kind to them. 2.) I really wish that kids could learn how to be self-motivated. 3.) I really wish that creativity wasn’t stifled. sm Read the full interview online at

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the new nursery

story by

Kimberly Winter Stern

photography courtesy

Jason Dailey


one are the days when a newborn’s room was one of two cookie-cutter designs: sugar-and-spice pink for girls and sky blue sports or dinosaurs for boys. Retailers succeeded at mass-producing blankets, quilts and one-size-fitsall cribs and frills. And once a child reached 2 or 3, the room was overhauled for the next growth spurt. Baby, we’ve come a long way in revolutionizing the nursery. Modern moms have tossed the unofficial rulebook for decorating a baby’s room in favor of a look that’s anything but cliché. In fact, nurseries sometimes take their cues from the sophisticated décor found in the rest of the house. Bold geometric patterns, bright colors and furniture that matures with baby are popular choices for chic-savvy moms like Melissa Elliott, who wanted a space with ageless

Oh Baby!


Baby nurseries take a turn for the chic

appeal where her daughter Reese would be entertained and have room to grow. “For me, planning Reese’s nursery was pretty straightforward,” says Melissa, who along with husband Jared was looking forward to the birth of their first child and little girl. “I am a proactive person and do things early. I started shopping months in advance.” Reese’s nursery, like many 21st century baby rooms, features unconventional design elements, including a buttercup yellow chandelier dripping with crystals that give the room a feminine sparkle. “The light fixture was a definite splurge,” says Melissa with a laugh, adding that Jared, a third-year medical student, wasn’t convinced that a chandelier was appropriate for a baby’s room. “He now has the vision I originally had for Reese’s nursery. He’s very proud of the room and is always showing it off.” Melissa’s sister, Megan Turner, is an art teacher in the Valley Falls school district and has a penchant for wall murals. When Melissa was contemplating the room’s theme, she consulted with her big sister. “There was a quilt and matching bedding I found in a store with bright, primary color flowers,” says Melissa, a dental hygienist. “It wasn’t the traditional purple or pink with butterflies.”


Today’s baby nursery goes beyond the typical pink or blue, as seen in Reese Elliott’s cozy space. The mural was a brainstorm between mom Melissa Elliott and her sister Megan Turner.

For the


The two sisters worked on the mural’s concept, but when it came time to execute the design last summer the process became a bit free-form when Megan arrived at the Elliotts’ house toting her paintbrush and a blank clipboard. “Megan took her inspiration from the bedding and painted in the mornings,” says Melissa. “In the afternoon I would review her progress, and together we’d tweak a thing or two.” The resulting mural in Reese’s room is a whimsical piece of original art with chirping birds and caricature birdhouses in bold red, brown, yellow and a babysoft blue-green that complements the cool, fresh green Melissa chose as the walls’ base color. A fire-engine red side table paired with a comfy chocolate brown recliner give the room a pop of color, and a birdhouse that Melissa received from an interior designer friend at a shower sits on a chest of drawers. Melissa went “shopping” in the couple’s home for accessories not found in a traditional nursery, like an oversize clock purchased at a decor store. She and Jared added shelves to display blocks spelling Reese’s name, fabric-covered picture frames and a plate with the bird motif. A mobile with bobbing birds is suspended above the crib and white frames hang gallery-style on one wall. The crib—which will be reconfigured as Reese grows—is angled to make the small room appear larger. A cluster of plush animals including one of Melissa’s childhood companions, a well-worn teddy bear, keeps Reese company. “That collection of stuffed animals is sure to grow,” says Melissa. When the Elliotts brought their 6-pound, blue-eyed bundle of joy home in early September, Melissa couldn’t wait to relax in the baby’s room. “It really is soothing and inspiring,” she says. But like any good mother, Melissa says her work isn’t done. “I’m already thinking what we can do to enhance the room when Reese starts playing with toys,” says Melissa, smiling and rocking the cooing baby. sm

Sweet Details

Melissa Elliott says the key to decorating an out-of-the-box baby nursery is to do today what you think can get accomplished tomorrow. “Don’t assume because you have nine months until delivery that things can be shelved until a couple of months before the big day,” she says. “Lots of times furniture or bedding are backordered or take awhile to ship.” The new Shawnee mom stresses it’s imperative to start early to achieve a put-together décor. “You don’t want your baby’s room to look like it was thrown together with no thought on how it reflects your style,” says Melissa. Here are some tips for a nursery gone mod.

Find something you love. Select a quilt, a detailed frame or an object and build your nursery’s visuals around that. Splurge on one item that will make a statement. Don’t break the bank to be chic. Look around your house for things that would be perfect in the baby’s room. Perhaps an old table in the basement that you can paint or a lamp that can be rewired and refreshed with a new shade and finial will finish the space. If your space is small, maximize it by angling furniture or purchase furniture that doubles as creative storage, like a footstool that opens for toy storage. Get personal. The rule in outfitting a baby’s room is that there are no rules. Just make sure that your result is a room where both you and baby will be able to relax and enjoy the years of growth and discovery ahead. CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Many small elements celebrate

baby Reese, such as the letter blocks spelling her name. Melissa wanted a space that Reese could grow into. A few classic stuffed animals also keep Reese company during naptime.




away sarasota

story by

Gloria Gale

Photography courtesy

“Ladies and


children of all ages,


welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!” Who can resist the ringmaster’s pitch that, to this day, still captures the hearts of audiences everywhere? This vivid legacy as the “Circus Capital of the World” lives on in Sarasota, Florida. Merging gracefully in this sparkling little city by the bay are distinct identities: an abundance of arts and culture, lush tropical backdrops of outdoor adventure and rich circus heritage. Sarasota, with more than a quarter million residents, makes waves and headlines. But its laid-back persona remains even when the winter season draws hordes of Northerners. As a result, Sarasota gives visitors enough time to savor its numerous delights.


Three Ring

circus Step right up, there’s far more than swaying palms edging silky beaches in Sarasota Day 1 – Nature’s poetry Within eyeshot of most attractions, satiny beaches beckon across the keys, or small barrier islands, attached to the mainland by bridge. There are eight keys, each with its own individual personality; hopping among them is a cinch. Start your tour early, crossing westward from the peninsula’s arching causeway toward St. Armand’s Circle and Lido Key.

St. Armand’s, designed by John Ringling in the early part of the 20th century, now brims with 120 boutiques and sidewalk cafes. Immerse yourself in the exotic pleasures of nearby Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This tropical paradise with an international reputation hosts more than 20,000 plants. Dedicated to research and preservation of rare epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants),


away ing the world’s largest miniature circus. Also on the estate grounds is the Historic Asolo Theater, an l8th century pavilion Ringling had shipped over from Italy. The theater now functions as a 21st century performing arts venue. Russian-American dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov deemed the theater, galleries and gardens on the Ringling estate so outstanding that he’s chosen it as the site of his annual five-day Ringling International Arts Festival. After this half-day adventure, be sure to stop for a casual lunch at Treviso on the estate grounds before heading down the street to Sarasota Jungle Gardens. With old Florida charm, the gardens have distinguished themselves as a refuge for exotic birds and reptiles for 69 years. The 10-acre facility cares for donated and rescued animals including tortoises, gators, boas and a honking flock of flamingos. At the end of the day, plan on dinner at Libby’s Cafe + Bar on Sarasota’s south side, not far from downtown. This award-winning restaurant presents locally grown ingredients in a chic, inviting atmosphere.

Day 3 – Barefoot sunset

Selby’s banyan trees, 6,000 species of orchids and stands of bamboo are a living library of plants sheltered in a beautiful setting. Before dinner, drive over to Siesta Key, the quintessential beach town not more than 10 minutes from Lido. Bury your toes into the sugary sand and watch the sunset melt into the gulf.

Day 2 – High-flying circus legacy

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Sarasota Jungle Gardens Libby’s Cafe + Bar Mote Marine Aquarium Myakka River State Park


Amid gleaming white sand beaches and acres of outdoor adventure, an early morning walk will get the blood flowing before visiting John (of Ringling Brothers circus fame) and Mable Ringling’s estate. Ringling’s legacy to transform part of Sarasota into a 66-acre metropolitan waterfront resort is legendary in this town. Wildly successful, the Ringlings’ globe-trotting acquisition of circus acts began in the l920s and included a taste for art. Within five years, more than 600 Baroque masterpieces were housed in the estate’s 21-gallery Ringling Museum of Art, now the State Art Museum of Florida. The Ringlings, never ones to blanch at extravagance, decided to build their private Venetian-inspired mansion, Cá d’Zan (House of John), on the same campus as the museum. The lush museum estate affords an opportunity to view The Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center, featur-

Mote Marine Laboratory is more than an amazing aquarium just off St. Armand’s Key. This working research and education facility has been at the forefront of conservation for the local dolphin, manatee and tortoise population. Team with a marine biologist and cruise through Sarasota Bay. As the 44-foot pontoon boat glides through acres of sea grass, expect to see a variety of sea creatures. Float by a bird sanctuary and stop for a walk on a protected intercostal island. In the afternoon, browse downtown’s interesting gallery of shops, explore Sarasota’s famous architectural legacy with a self-guided tour or climb aboard an airboat for a tour of a gator-filled lake at Myakka River State Park. Or just collapse at Lido’s beachfront Tiki Bar and wait for dusk’s scarlet-tinged sunset. Holly Johnson, a Siesta Key resident, sums up the pleasures of her city as a dream destination. “While our powdery sugar-soft white sand, aquamarine water and amazing sunsets are enough to transpose you,” she says, “the variety of things to see and do and the plethora of great restaurants make Sarasota one of travel’s best and most rewarding values.” sm


Dec ’10- Feb ’11 December all month A Very Fifties Christmas. The

1950s All-Electric House is decorated for the holidays. Rock around the aluminum Christmas tree on the guided tour and take home a special holiday memento. Tours are available on the half hour Tuesday-Friday and Sunday. Extended holiday hours 10 a.m.4 p.m. Saturday. (913) 715-2570. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children 3-12. Johnson County Museum


February 4-5

Cinderella Ball Daddy & Daughter Date Night. Dads can treat their daughters to dinner, dancing and fun at Prince Charming’s castle. Tickets are $40 per couple. 6:30 p.m. Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.

January 22

Digital Photography 101. Want to learn

how to use your fancy digital camera? Try this introductory course offered by Johnson County Parks & Recreation. Bring a fully charged camera, lens, memory cards and manual. Workshop is $20. 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Shawnee Civic Centre.

February 12

January 29

December 11

Gingerbread Creative Storytime. Get in

the holiday spirit by listening to stories of gingerbread and magic while creating your own gingerbread house at the Shawnee Library, 13811 Johnson Drive. All ages welcome. Registration required. 10:30 a.m. (913) 826-4600.

December 26

Tree recycling. Recycle your natural Christmas tree at Shawnee Mission Park Marina. Trees accepted until January 31 at 7900 Renner Road. (913) 441-8669.

January 8

T.A.K.E Defense Training. This hands-on training helps build the knowledge, confidence and empowerment needed for self-defense. Registration required; donations accepted. 10 a.m. Shawnee Civic Centre, 13817 Johnson Drive.

Prairie Traveler.

Celebrate Kansas Day and the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood at the Shawnee Library. Step back into the year 1870 as stories of wagon trains, buffalo stampedes and frontier education are shared through the eyes of a child. Recommended for first- through third-graders and their families. Registration required. 10:30 a.m. (913) 826-4600.

Over the Rainbow Valentine Gala.

Sunflower House’s 29th annual Valentine Gala includes cocktails, live and silent auctions, fine dining, dancing and live entertainment. Tickets required. 6 p.m.-midnight, Sheraton Overland Park at the Convention Center. For more information, call (913) 631-5800. www.

January 29

Polar Plunge. Don’t let the cold weather stop you from supporting Special Olympics Kansas. Activities include a 5K Polar Strut and 1 mile walk/ run, Post-Plunge Party and Awards Ceremony. Not brave enough to take the plunge into the frigid waters at Shawnee Mission Swim Beach but still want to participate? Register online and declare yourself “Too Chicken.” Registration opens at 9 a.m. with the plunge taking place at noon. Register online or by calling (913) 236-9290, ext 109. kansascity.html

All events are subject to change.

E-mail your upcoming events for the calendar to