Words of Wisdom

These women enrich the lives of others through their unique passions and efforts and encourage people to do the same. We sat down with them to find out a little bit about what inspires them and keeps them going. 

She Can Do It

Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor two months before Nadine arrived in Washington, D.C. that late winter in 1941. In another two months, the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom, a prior gift from Japan before the countries became enemies. Twenty-two-year-old Nadine would be reminded of their message that life is beautiful, but short and fleeting.

Generations of Strength

I don’t believe in angels flying. Angels are little babies. When they come to this world and put their little feeties on this ground, it is up to the parents in how you are going to mold them. If you mold them in love, they will love.

Crudité anyone?

Not to be confused with its not-too-distant cousin, charcuterie, crudité highlights fresh produce--it is a French term that translates to “raw things.” The produce featured in crudité can be sliced or whole, typically assembled on a board or platter, served with complementary dips.  

Dish Beautiful

Leawood Native. Creator. Culinary Storyteller. Home Entertainer. Recipe Developer. Lover. Friend.

Planting a family business

In 1965, Ron Nelson found himself in a bit of a predicament at his wholesale plant growing facility. He had an overabundance of geraniums that needed homes.

A Kansas City Jewel

When your special moments deserve to be celebrated with exceptional jewelry, you can trust the team at VanBrock to make your dreams come true.

Hello Spring

Flower arrangements are the perfect way to freshen up your space and add a pop of color to the room. Learning to arrange flowers is a fun way to add personality and artistic vision to your home. Here is a simple step-by-step guide for how to arrange flowers. 

Porch 2 Ways

Erica Krzykowski and design assistant, Angela Wedekind are the masterminds and the creative forces behind Prairie Home Designs. With their attention to detail, eye for innovative design and limitless creativity, this duo packs a powerful punch to transform any space. Principal designer Krzykowski makes it her personal mission to make each client’s space feel beautiful and reflect their unique and personal style.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen believes delicious dining and conscious nutrition go hand-in-hand. Without sacrificing flavor, creativity or indulgence, their menu was inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better, not worse. Shannon Keller, True Food Kitchen's chief marketing officer, is excited for Kansas City to experience their vibrant culture and robust culinary scene at their newest restaurant located…

Finding artistic expression in planters

Designing and creating planters is a method of artistic expression that has become a unique business opportunity for Julie Cruz with Adorn Planters.

The Makerista

Gwen Hefner, known as the Makerista, is a local influencer with a passion for home and design. She’s a Jane-of-all-trades sharing her tips and tricks for a variety of projects, including how to renovate a room, thrift, throw a party, and make a house a home with some flair. Whether it’s something for herself, her children or her Leawood home,…

Simplistic Beauty

The homeowners were able to combine textile inspiration from all over the world to create this cozy and eclectic space. Warm red kilim and Persian rugs ground the space and add warmth and texture while the traditional patterns impart a sense of familiarity and timelessness. Indigo-dyed throw pillows add a bohemian flair inspired by African mud clothes and indigo dying…

Fixer Upper

We moved into our 1972 Leawood fixer upper in 2015 and have spent the last few years remodeling and updating nearly every room in the house. It has character galore, which is what drew us to the house. Some unique features include a finished attic with an observatory and “secret passageway” bookshelf door, built-in Murphy beds, and more. If you’re…

At Home with Becky Hillyard

Creative Becky Hillyard showcases her love of a neutral color palette, rich textures and workhorse statement pieces that will grow with her family on her lifestyle site, Cella Jane Blog. Named after her grandmother, the internationally popular blog is a place where Hillyard finds connection and shares inspiration on topics of fashion, beauty, fitness, baby, motherhood and more.

Lyric Opera

Lyric Opera of Kansas City has been creating transformational opera experiences for more than 60 years. Lyric Opera currently performs in the heart of the city at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts with Tracy Davis-Singh as the director of production.    “I coordinate all members of the production team, from costumes and scenery to lighting and makeup,” says…

Cleared for takeoff:

 The state of Kansas has been synonymous with aviation since the earliest days of flight. An innovative Johnson County business is taking that tradition to another level with efficient, hassle-free alternatives for travelers.

Introducing Tara Kesner

Tara Kesner is a local artist and active mother and wife who lives in Leawood with her three young daughters and husband, Carmen. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and was heavily involved in the performing arts both during childhood and college. She had a passion for art at an early age, but pragmatism led her…

Art Around Leawood

The mission of Leawood’s Public Art Program is to integrate highly visible art into the Leawood community for the purpose of creating a legacy of works to be enjoyed by current and future generations, and they are doing just that. This is just a small collection of some of the exquisite pieces of art that can be enjoyed around Leawood.

Ampersand Design Studio

Ampersand Design Studio is where color and pattern come to play. Morgan Georgie and Carrie Kiefer are not only founders of this fun Kansas City-based art and design partnership but are also best friends.

Healthy Dinner Party

January. It definitely has its unique vibe. Part of it feels like the month of repentance - ate too much, drank too much, spent too much. And part of it feels like the beginning of the new and improved you - resolutions, abstinence and a clean slate.

Bringing the love of the sea home

 When these homeowners decided to build their new home, they knew they wanted it to be inviting, unique and coastal.

Artisan Kombucha

Artisan Kombucha is Kansas City’s craft kombucha brewing company with a passion for healthy holistic living. Using organic and local ingredients for the highest quality kombucha, it is proudly brewed in small batches using organic loose-leaf teas, herbs, spices and real fruits and vegetables without any juices, concentrates or chemical additives. The result is a satisfying raw unfiltered beverage full…

Cold Winter Weather Blues

 Keep your skin hydrated with these DIY skin products  Audrey Kuether is a creative director, designer, DIYer, KCTV5 DIY contributor, photographer, interior stylist, and blogger. Her work has been featured on Houzz, Apartment Therapy, Better Homes and Gardens, Buzzfeed, Brit+Co, Marie Claire, Disney Baby, Zillow Blog, and more.   She lives in Leawood in a fixer upper home with her…

Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Enjoy some of our favorite gift picks to inspire you this gift giving season. 

Holiday Bunch Bowls

The holidays grant us with a unique opportunity to bring friends and family together. If your family is anything like mine, gathering around the dinner table to share a meal and a few cocktails is a revered tradition. Being the only person in my family with a cocktail background, I am constantly playing barkeeper when I would much rather be relaxing…

Holiday Decor Trends

Megan Mosier is the designer behind Megan Gensky Interiors. After working for Magnolia in Waco, Texas and winning awards while working for a local builder, she decided it was finally her time to start her own design company. She stays busy during the holiday months setting up clients’ homes and offices for the holiday season. Besides holiday decorating services, she…

Steps of Faith

For Billy Brimblecom music has been an essential piece of his existence. It has become a melody played on a continuous loop -- giving him comfort during personal storms, opening doors that seemed perilous, and providing him with an irreplaceable tool that has helped him to live out his wildest dreams.   

Not Home for the Holidays

While the rest of us are gathering around the Thanksgiving table and decking our halls, some of our fellow community members are leaving behind their own families to work long shifts where they will care, protect and serve. This holiday season, we give thanks for their service and sacrifice. 

Red Door Woodfired Grill

Since 2013, Red Door Grill has been known to welcome their guests with the freshest, most flavorful food and excellent service, all while feeling right at home.  

Leawood Officers Inspire Hope

 Leawood Officers Inspire Hope  To be a cop, you need to pass a physical ability test. You must be fast, agile and ready to run. That means muscle endurance and upper body and core strength. You must also have the emotional and intellectual capabilities required to deal with heated situations.  Leawood police officers meet all of those qualifications. They possess…

Home Sweet Home

Four years ago when this Leawood family was house hunting, they were originally looking for a traditional Colonial-style house, but instead found a Cape Cod style house where they pictured their daughters playing basketball in the driveway and swinging on an old-fashioned rope swing in one of the enormous trees in the backyard. Today those dreams have come to fruition…

Foodtruck Roundup

Take the passion of a chef. Add an extra dash of ingenuity. Incorporate carefully sourced high-quality ingredients. Stir together in a tight space. Then take it all out on the road. The result? Food truck fare that surprises and delights our taste buds.

SISTERCHEFS:

Sisters Olga and Carolina Belmonte have a 12-year age gap, but the separation melts away when they get together to cook. These Leawood kitchen masters have been serving up Spanish culinary creations to their families and friends for years, and sometimes their guests have no words.  

Joy(ce)

Most people’s first words are “Dada,” “Mommy,” “Mama” or one of the other variants of Mother and Daddy. My first word was “Nani.”

Jasper’s Applecello Cake 

Chef Jasper shares his famous Applecello Cake recipe … a great fall treat using Louisburg Apple Cider, one of Kansas City’s best-known fall treats.

Local denim manufacturer believes Kansas City is poised for revival of once-thriving garment industry

 Article Alan Goforth | Photography Paul Versluis  The bustle of workers and hum of sewing machines have long since left the old Kansas City Garment District.  At one time, however, garment manufacturing was the city's No. 2 industry, employing more than 4,000 people. An estimated one in seven American women wore a garment that was manufactured in Kansas City.

Like Mother Like Daughter: Fashion through the Ages

 Article Angela Broockerd | Photography Paul Versluis  It all begins with those three little words, “It’s a girl!” Visions of dressing a little girl can be a mother's dream (or nightmare), and what used to be all frills and lace has now turned into a variety of options for mothers today. The styles are endless, and even infant outfits are…

Meet the Stylist: Amani Skalacki

 Article Allison Swan  Amani Skalacki is the local stylist and artist taking over the fashion scene in Kansas City and beyond. She turned her interest in fashion and knowledge of accessories into a successful career in fashion, editorial and advertising in local and national magazines and advertising campaigns. Her portfolio includes jewelry and accessories design, wardrobe, prop and set styling,…

Houndstooth

 Photography Paul Versluis  Tell us a little bit about how Houndstooth got its start.  I am a third generation tailor. My grandfather owned a tailor shop in Brookside, and my father's shop was located in Overland Park. While running my father's business, I always would keep an eye on downtown real estate for what I thought was the perfect spot…

Thoroughly Mentionable MADI

 Article Lisa Moyer  It has all the makings of the latest Netflix series set in the heart of KC – a city with an emerging reputation as a hub for socially conscious urban startups.  The main character is Hayley Besheer Santell -- a gorgeous, loveable, hardworking millennial entrepreneur with a wide smile and even wider heart. She embraces challenges, takes…

Out of this World

 Article and Photography  Q&A with Nest Interiors Design  Tell us a little bit about this space and what the goals were from the homeowners when starting the project.

LEAWOOF-Leawood’s dog oasis

 Article Ruth Baum Bigus | Photography Paul Versluis     (Editor’s note: Ruth Baum Bigus is the proud owner of Maya, a Catahoula she and her husband Larry rescued four years ago. They are frequent visitors to Leawoof.)

Fashion Trends for the Family

 Article and Photography  If there's anyone who know what it's like to be a busy, working mom, it's Cella Jane Blogger, Becky Hillyard. Sure, her life may look perfectly primped on Instagram, but underneath it all she's a mom, just trying to get by and look good doing it. That's why we enlisted her style expertise.   

Line. Light. Beauty. 

 Photography Paul Versluis  Distilling emotion from a shadow, a gesture, a turn of the wrist has intrigued Susan P. Wilson for as long as she can remember. Pencil and sketch pad in hand, she loves to capture simple moments. If “art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” as Impressionist Edgar Degas said, then Susan wants…

Prepare to be Floored:

 Article Lisa Moyer | Photography Provided  Carpet Direct takes the stress out of choosing flooring from a myriad of ever-evolving options. As one of the nation’s largest dealers in premium flooring, Carpet Direct Kansas City provides free in-home consultation for the largest selection of flooring available at price points to meet every budget. Whether carpet, ceramic tile, genuine hardwoods, engineered…

Cordial Craft

 Article Allison Swan | Photography Paul Versluis  Cordial Craft is Kansas City’s newest craft cocktail catering service specializing in fresh, made-to-order seasonal drinks using locally sourced produce. Brandon and Alyssa Burke, the bar-savvy couple behind the beverage business, traded their belongings for a motorhome and made the journey from California to the Midwest seeking adventure.   “Cordial Craft was started almost by…

Backyard Oasis

 Photography Paul Versluis  When this Leawood family moved into their gorgeous home eight years ago, they knew they wanted to create a backyard space that would be the ideal backdrop to create family memories for years to come. With a very large extended family and two teenaged daughters, they wanted a space that was welcoming and enjoyable to host get-togethers for…

Keeping It Real:

 Article Lisa Moyer | Photography Paul Versluis  VanBrock respects that a fine jewelry collection doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the culmination of a lifetime of celebrating life’s happiest moments.  “Not every occasion is a jewelry occasion, but when it is, we hope you will think of us,” says VanBrock associate Kristina Klug.

Darryl Burton

 Article Adriane Taylor | Photography Paul Versluis  There is a calm and gentle spirit about Darryl Burton. He is both self-assured and reassuring, confident and unassuming. He wears the smile of a man who is steadfast in his faith and the gleam in his eyes hint of an awe-inspiring future. And he tells a story so awesome its weight is…