Posted: June 12, 2013
Written by: Guest Blogger
Frosting covered faces raced down the sidewalk of Downtown Overland Park. The parents of these cupcake-filled kiddos were witnessing the full effects of a sugar rush. As I continued down the street I saw the holy grail of cupcakes. My eyes were glued to the pink sign that displayed the decadent cupcake logo.
I cautiously walked into Smallcakes, knowing full well that this would be the first of many visits. I was looking for a sugar fix and I knew without a doubt I was in the right place as the scent of scrumptious cupcakes filled the room. I walked towards the counter and the trays of flavors stared me down. I knew they wanted me to take all of them home with me. After going back and forth about buying all the cupcakes there, I decided it would be best to avoid a sugar coma and try only two flavors this visit. I chose Caramel Crunch and Birthday Cake. Let me give you a little in sight on these pint-sized treats. First off, I now understand the meaning behind the name, Smallcakes… These were indeed tiny cakes that were as delicious and moist as a full-sized cake. The Caramel Crunch was a chocolate cake with caramel icing, topped with pretzels and sea salt. As a lover of sweet and salty combinations, this was a winner. The Birthday Cake was classic vanilla cake topped with butter cream frosting and rolled in rainbow sprinkles, not only pleasing to the eye but the stomach as well.
Smallcakes originated in Overland Park by Jeff Martin, a cupcake connoisseur. The franchise flourished after Martin made appearances on the Food Network and the View. The store houses 13 signature flavors and additional specialty flavors each day. They pride themselves on the fact that every cupcake is baked fresh in-house, every morning. If this review doesn’t have you running out the door to grab some Smallcakes for yourself, then I don’t know what to tell you, because writing it has me wanting a dozen more!
If you’re looking for an exceptional cupcake outing then you will not be disappointed with the sweets and the service you receive at Smallcakes, 7303 80th St., in downtown Overland Park.
“Like” Smallcakes: Overland Park Downtown on Facebook for specials, like BOGO, because you can’t go wrong with free cupcakes!
Kirsten Samuelson is the Summer Intern for the Interactive Solutions Department of the Overland Park CVB. She is currently a student at Kansas State University working toward her major in public relations.
Posted: May 30, 2013
Written by: Liron B.
It all started as a personal challenge. Could two ordinary guys over 55 walk across the state of Kansas from East to West? Lewis and Clark. Meet Lindstrom and Cook.
On Saturday, August 11, 2012 Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau president Jerry Cook and Johnson County Commissioner and former Kansas City Chiefs player David Lindstrom, embarked on a 1220-mile journey across the State of Kansas. The two will walk alongside Kansas’ 11 Byways plus portions of the Santa Fe and Chisholm Trails over the course of one year. A Kansas Byway is designated as such by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a road that is rich with geological, historical, natural or recreational significance. Kansas is rich with Civil War and Western Frontier history and its vast landscapes are riddled with surprising geology, flower-filled plains and soul-stirring skies. The 11 byways are spread around the state providing a perfect opportunity for boundless exploration. According to Cook and Lindstrom, walking the byways provides a more in-depth and memorable experience.
“Our campaign, Walking with L and C, encourages Kansas residents and visitors to the state to become more physically fit by walking,” they enthusiastically state. “The theme of the campaign is Health, Wellness and Happiness, and its main objectives are to promote and expand awareness of each Kansas Byway and the wonderful people and experiences found on each and secondly, to promote physical fitness and how easy it can be for ordinary people to develop a habit of daily walking while enjoying nature’s beauty.”
Excerpts from the Walking with L and C blog provide a taste of what can be discovered on a Kansas Byway:
“In the limestone bluffs and seas of grass, Mother Nature reminds us how all things work in harmony and exists beyond the bounds of today. From human to animal, earth to sky, the horizons that separate us blur in this beautiful land. For those that travel through life on the Interstate, and never choose the road less traveled, the vastness and delicacies of life will be lost. A look back down Highway 177 through the Flint Hills will show you from where you came and point you to where you are headed.”
– Flint Hills Scenic Byway, September 2012
“The determination and resourcefulness of the pioneers that settled the westward lands still resonates along the Post Rock Scenic Byway. The importance of water and natural resources to the survival of generations, the sense of community amongst neighbors and the peaceful beauty of the lonely territory, all remain important to the people of the Post Rock Scenic Byway today. From farming to art, from pride in their state to a humble way of life, the spirit of their ancestors is alive and well.”
– Post Rock Scenic Byway, August 2012
Follow the adventurous duo by visiting www.walkingwithlandc.com. The blog features a gallery of spectacular photos, a play-by-play of each walk, plus accommodation and restaurant recommendations for your own Byway adventure. Or better yet, join one of the walks! The clock to slow down, enjoy life and improve personal health is ticking.
, Civil War
, Flint Hills Scenic Byway
, Kansas Byways
, Post Rock Scenic Byway
, walking with L and C
, Western Frontier
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Posted: May 14, 2013
Written by: Amy G.
As a mother of a toddler, I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from my child. These are not difficult life lessons, but maybe that is the point. Adults can over complicate life and many important lessons are found in the simplistic acts of childhood. Here are the top five ways I’ve relearned to live like a kid, and the reasons everyone should take a lesson from childhood. I have also found some great ways to “live like a kid in KC” and provide insider tips on ways to bring out the kid in you.
1. Enjoy the arts
Children have an amazing passion for arts – from puppetry to parade bands, from finger paints to play dough. Art includes everything from visual art to performing arts and music. Art is healing. Research has shown that art can be therapeutic. It has benefits for patients experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, cancer, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and other serious health conditions. Furthermore, research has shown the benefits of art on brain function and the significant benefits to Alzheimer’s patients through offering new ways to communicate and connect in a non-verbal manner, express emotions, promote relaxation and improve moods. Enjoying the arts should be a life-long hobby and has a proven track record from young to old.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Learn to decorate a cake or create the perfect dish at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Engage in a discussion of the unique works of art at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and sign-up for an art class of your own. Take in a performance at the New Theatre Restaurant, featuring Broadway-style musicals and comedies.
2. Let it Go
Children do not hold grudges. They may be furious one second and your best friend the next. We may joke about these mode swings, but kids understand the power of forgiveness and know how to let it go. The dictionary defines forgive as granting pardon for an offense; to cease to feel resentment against. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the hurt you felt and allows you to focus on more positive aspects of your life. It doesn’t mean you deny the other person’s responsibility in hurting you, it just allows you to move forward and no longer be gripped by the anger and hurt you felt. Research has shown that forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being, less anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression and lower the risk of substance abuse.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Visit the National WWI Museum to discover the global implications of hurt . . . and how the world can move forward after destruction.
- Photo Credit: American Museum of Natural History
3. Curious George
Kids are curious about the world around them. As we age, we become less curious – almost complacent about life. But, curiosity brings meaning to life and with it comes a host of health benefits. Curious people live longer. Curiosity decreases the likelihood of developing hypertension and diabetes, has a positive correlation with intelligence and neurological health, increases problem-solving skills and analytical abilities, and allows relationships to develop more easily. In fact, curious people report more satisfying relationships and marriages. Happy couples describe their partners as interested and responsive. So live long and prosper, my little Curious George. I think John Holt said it best, “Children do not need to be made to learn” since they are already born with what Einstein called “the holy curiosity of inquiry”.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Unlock the secrets of the world at The Museum at Prairiefire, the only satellite location for the American Museum of Natural History. Exhibits are deeply engaging and entertaining for all ages! World’s Largest Dinosaurs opens in fall 2013. Escape to another world of mystery and intrigue as you delve into a good book from Mysterscape in Downtown Overland Park.
4. Active Play
Children love to play. But play is more than just about having fun. Active play may involve games with rules and can be social or solitary, but the distinguishing features are a playful context, combined with activity that is significantly above resting metabolic rate. Adults have a way of making working out less fun and more work. Active play brings back the fun in excising, which brings a lifetime of healthy benefits. Benefits include building strong hearts, muscles and bones; developing and maintaining motor skills, improved movement, balance, coordination and reaction time; increased mental awareness; improved self-esteem; healthy weight management; and, prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and other health conditions. As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Live Like a Kid in KC: Splish, splash and slide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, open May through September. Skim, spin and swirl along the ice at the Park Place Ice Terrace, open November through February.
5. Simple Pleasures
Kids understand that some of the best things in life don’t come in packages at all, sometimes it is the packaging. Life is filled with simple please, the gifts of life that bring us much happiness. Everything from making a yellow light to finding money you didn’t know you had, from putting on clothes straight from the dryer to making someone smile or laugh. Finding happiness and pleasure in life leads to an increased life span, better immune system, more energy and better mental health. It is now claimed that happiness could be more important than smoking in determining your health. Remember, the Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness, you have to catch it in the moments that come your way.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Take a nature walk at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. This 300-acre arboretum is a serene and tranquil place to enjoy nature with miles of trails and multiple gardens, including an International Sculpture Garden.
What lessons have you learned from a kid that will last you a lifetime?
Tags: active play
, American Museum of Natural History
, Culinary Center of Kansas City
, forever young
, let it go
, live like a kid
, National WWI Museum
, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
, New Theatre Restaurant
, Overland Park Arboretum
, Park Place Ice Terrace
, Science City
, simple pleasure
, stay young
, The Museum at Prairiefire
, young at heart