FASHION

FASHION
FASHION

BEAUTY

BEAUTY
BEAUTY

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FOOD
FOOD
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FREESTYLE POKÉ, OVERLAND PARK - SOFT OPENING

If you know me, then you know, how I and my family are a huge fan of Freestyle Poke. While we love trying out new places, we also do love our list of favorites. You can often spot us in the patio of the River Market location of Freestyle Poke. When they debuted in Catering, I was there. So when they had a soft opening, for their brand new location in Overland Park, I had to be there. Freestyle Poke Overland Park opens to the public on May 24th, 2019.
While I love their River Market location, I can tell you that I am super happy that their new location was in Overland Park. Still the same amazing food, but at 1/4th the drive. If you wanted to learn more about Freestyle Poke, then you could read my previous article Here.

If you are a Sushi lover, then you should give Freestyle Poke, a try. And if you are already their fan, then its time to rejoice, as they have a brand new location, for those of us who live on the southern parts of the KC metro area. Rumor has it, that they are planning another location in Liberty, very soon. They are Gluten Free, Keto friendly if you have any dietary restrictions. 
Their Overland Park location is on 135th Street and Metcalfe Avenue. They have introduced some changes to their menu since I last dined with them. For instance, now they have three choices, when it comes to their Bowl Size- Good, Better, and Best. The Good size gives you two choices of Protein, Better gives you three choices of protein, and Best gives you four choices of protein. I always opt for their Good size, while my husband always opts for Best.

They are a brand who are committed to serving fish which has been obtained through sustainable fishing and has been harvested responsibly. As the fish has to served within a set number of hours of being harvested, the quality does come at a very fair price, I can tell you. They have also started a Kids Bowl, which I can tell you, is such a savior for parents like us.
If you are at the Overland Park location, you can't miss the amazing decor, which transports you to a tropical destination. Poke as you know, originated from Hawaii. The mural at the new location is so breathtaking and it coveys the legend of the Eagle and the Condor. Freestyle Poke, as a brand, seeks to find the balance between them.
So when are you planning to head to the brand new location of Freestyle Poke? Are you confused about what to order? Let me help you out. First choose a bowl size - Good, Better, best. You could opt for a Signature Bowl, or you could go the creative route, and create your own bowl. Besides the great food at Freestyle Poke, what I love about them, is how wonderful their staff are. They always have the best suggestions, on what pairs with what. Go ahead, and enjoy your long weekend, with some Freestyle Poke!
It was wonderful to spend the evening with my family and fellow foodies. If you are wondering why my daughter has makeup, its because we raced back straight from her dress rehearsal. Thank you Freestyle Poke and TKG Agency for the invite! You guys really know how to throw a wonderful party!


KCFW FW'19 - WEDNESDAY NIGHT RUNWAY - A RECAP

Time for some long-due posts from Kansas City Fashion Week. I had attended KCFW Fall Winter-19 some time back, and it was as spectacular as ever. This post and my other posts got immensely delayed, as my family got handed out the worst curveball by life. I and my husband were celebrating our 10th Marriage anniversary when my husband felt sick. He was diagnosed with Stage 2 Testicular Cancer and had to go in for emergency surgery. He will be starting his chemos soon. Now, you know why I had been MIA from the blog. Anyways, let's get back to KCFW memories, shall we?

Besides the Media Night at 28 Event Space, I attended Wednesday and Thursday nights of runway shows. I know, those are not my typical nights for KCFW, but I decided to try out something different this season. This season's runway shows were held at the Grand Hall of Kansas City, downtown, with a European style runway. Very Thankful to Team KCFW for the fabulous Front Row seats, on both nights.


 If you haven't yet checked out my recap of KCFW FW'19 Media Night, then click Here.

The first designer of the evening was Kamber Elyse(Kamber Causemaker). She launched her latest collection RED: a spur of the moment, kick of the boot, take no bull collection. She defines herself as a country soul with couture goals. From tortoise-shell to fur, from shoulder details to a variety of hemlines, loved the eclectic mix. The earthy tones of the collection made it so Fall-perfect!
The next designer of the evening was Sew Unrelaxed (Missy Isamoore). She gets inspiration and boldness of her designs from experiencing different cities. One look at the colors and prints of her current collection will show you how her collection and style can be best described as AfroPolitan- a mix of Afro-centric and Cosmopolitan. Sew Unrelaxed features casual wear, swimwear, evening wear, and even menswear. And if you had thought vibrant pinks were a Spring -Summer staple, then she forces you to re-think about your color palette for Fall-Winter

Shelby Harvey is a designer based in Springfield, MO. While "Bridal wear," is her first love, she is interested in bringing her unique design perspective into ready-to-wear line. Her latest collection is inspired by Proverbs 31 and Virtuous Women and marked her debut in Kansas City Fashion Week. From flared pants to fanny gaps, from graphic tees to dreamy capes, I loved her attention to detail, in her ready-to-wear collection.


The next showcase was by Eddie Bauer from Oak Park Mall, who brought in the hottest colors of the season, in the coolest of outerwear

Hally Vollbrecht was the next designer of the evening. She had studied fashion not only at Iowa State but also at London Colleg of Fashion. She has worked in the industry interning for Marchesa, also at Free People as an assistant designer, to name a few. Loved how edgy yet romantic her collection was. The risque element clearly stole my heart.

Last but not least was XYZ by Jason Metzler. He was on Project Runway Junior and he has been creating clothing which empowers women. His goal is to make women all the world feel confident and powerful. And his latest collection was true to his goal. What an amazing finale, to the first night of runway shows, for a brand new season of KCFW.




WHITE DENIM AND CHAMBRAY : SPRING STYLE SESSIONS

A few things don't change about me, no matter what happens in my life. I shall continue to champion for animals in need, I shall continue to write, and I shall continue to be in my uniform - denim. Yes, I wear denim, 355 days out of 365 every year and I would not have it any other way. So it makes sense that many of the OOTD posts on my Blog involve denim. Last but not least, these pictures were shot by my all-time favorite photographer, who is a bit under the weather. Waiting for him to get better soon so that we continue to shoot more and more fabulous content.  

Although it has been crazily raining here in Kansas City, and I hear on an impending super cyclone on its way to India, I am dreaming about bright sunny crisp Spring mornings. And since I wanted my style yet another Denim on Denim outfit, it made sense to style my White Denim, yet again. Yes, I wear my White Denim throughout the year and I love it. 
One of my favorite combinations is white denim and chambray. While I do have a few versions of Denim on Denim outfits on my Blog, I didn't realize that  I hadn't chronicled one with white denim or chambray. Chambray is so iconic when one thinks of Spring-Summer, so it was a no-brainer. To play off the denim, I wanted to use warm accents. My denim and Chambray shirt are both from Old Navy, although this isn't sponsored by the brand. My denim is the Rockstar by Old Navy and with its mid-rise, its a great option for my love handles and muffin top. 
My hair has very Warm highlights - Caramel Toffee Foilage, which I got touched up recently. My sunglasses are my orange rimmed Rayban Aviators, which I absolutely adore. I love carrying big mom bags, as I call them. I had found this beauty at the Target clearance rack and fell in love with the shape. Its amazing what you find at the Target clearance rack. 
My trusty Leopard Pumps from Nine West, which are super comfortable, even if you are walking in them the whole day. What you cannot see clearly in the pictures are the silver hoops I am wearing, has these amber colored gems on it, which catch the light most beautifully. Red lipsticks are my staple, but for this outfit, I knew I had to carry on the thread of warmth. So this orange toned beauty is MAC's Lady Danger. It is retro matte, a try orange-red, and an absolute conversation starter. 
How do you like styling your denim on denim? Let me know in the comments.


SHOP MY OUTFIT :
 

FORMULATE: PERSONALIZED SHAMPOO - CONDITIONER & GIVEAWAY

 Self-care has always been important to me. In this journey, I came across a brand new product, which I not only loved, but it fits with my lifestyle and needs. My hair is textured, and I have been coloring my hair since I was 16 years old. So I am extra careful when it comes to taking care of my hair. Besides trims by my hairstylist, I am very careful in choosing what products I use for my hair. I have been sulfate-free for almost a decade now, and I can tell you what a difference it makes. So if I introduced a product to you, not only will it be sulfate free, but it will also be paraben free, preservative-free and cruelty-free.

Formulate creates personalized/customized shampoo and conditioner, which is made just for you. No gimmicks at all. I have also teamed up with Formulate, to bring an exclusive Giveaway, where you could win a set of personalized shampoo and conditioner, and everyone entrant wins a discount as well.
 Forget about browsing the aisles for a shampoo you think might work. Craning our eyes trying to read about ingredients in the fine print. Formulate has brought together industry leading chemists and engineers to create personalized shampoo and conditioner for you, based on your lifestyle, and your hair-care needs/concerns. If people have not been sulfate free before, they WILL have to go through a transition phase. I tell you that being sulfate free for so many years, I sone of the best things, I have done for the health of not only my hair but that of my family members too. Its a conscious choice, and it has paid the richest dividends.
 Let's talk about my journey with Formulate, now that I have told you of the fabulous work they are doing. So my hair is textured and colored, as I had previously mentioned. It's dry in general and is shoulder-length.
Formulate asked me what my needs/concerns were, with regard to my hair care routine. I needed color protection, curl definition, anti-frizz, hydration, and deep conditioning. I selected the perfume Burgeon, as I just love orange blossom. I can tell you that every time, I shampoo and condition my hair, I feel I am on a tropical holiday. I kid you not. My products were formulated and shipped to me, with an instructional guide, on how to use them.
Formulate uses feedback to make adjustments. While I liked the first set of products, I felt my dry hair needed some more TLC. So Formulate was kind enough to re-formulate my products, and send me a brand new set. I am in love with the formulation, to say the least. My color is bright, my hair is easy to detangle, and my curls are fabulous. In fact, I had used these products in my hair, before I was on the red carpet of Kansas City Fashion Week, and my curls caught the attention of everyone there. Was happy to spread the word, that it was the magic Formulate. While I do subject my hair to heat styling, but what I personally love is to highlight the natural goodness of my curls. Once I have washed and conditioned my hair with Formulate products, I used a home-made sea-salt spray and scrunched my curls. Then I let it air dry. Formulate allowed the wave/curl spray to do its job in the best potential and I was red-carpet ready with my hair.

Besides being a great product, I fell in love with the packaging. Neutral colors, clean lines, the prettiest bottle set, I have seen. How can you not love such attention to detail? Their feedback system is simply great, as they actually listened to my concerns, and were there with me, throughout my hair care journey with them.  You can also download their app, and communicate your feedback via that.
 

GIVEAWAY :
The giveaway is open to anyone living in the US. Click on the Link below to enter for a chance to win.
https://www.formulate.co/u/ritz_journospeak

Giveaway closes on 4/30/2019.



KCFW FW'19 MEDIA NIGHT - A RECAP

Kansas City Fashion Week is a big part of my annual blogging calendar. Last week KCFW kickstarted its 15th season with a media night, and I was humbled and honored to be part of it. This is the 8th season of me joining KCFW as Official Media, and I can tell you that every season has outdone itself. It is so brilliant how so many creatives come together, celebrating all things fashion, in one of the biggest fashion events of the Midwest. It has been such a beautiful journey with KCFW so far, and I have seen how much this wonderful Fashion Week has grown for the best! Take a bow Team KCFW!
Besides the runway shows, there are a lot of other special events which make any fashion week special. KCFW, for instance, is well known for their special media events during both of their seasons, in a year. While the Media event is indoors in Spring during the Fall Winter shows, a beautiful garden party has us dressed to the nines, during the Spring Summer shows in Fall. This season's media night was hosted at 28 Event Space's The Station. It was a beautiful evening in Spring, and it was great to back with my extended fashion week family.
From Team KCFw to photographers, from bloggers and journalists to designers and models, it was such a wonderful mix of talent under one roof. KCFW President Teisha Marie Barber and kCFW CEO Phil Willoughby regaled us with stories from when KCFW had hosted a runway show at the same venue many years back. And how even a typical Midwestern snowstorm, did not stop the show from going on. 
Wonderful floral arrangements, by Adorn Floral Design, got you in the mood for Spring, although we did have a light snow shower, a few days later.

If the flowers had not taken your breath away, then the most elaborate and exquisite display of food by Ashley Bare surely did. Everyone who approached the food table, stopped short to catch a breath. It was just too pretty to eat. But I can tell you this, if you took a bite, you would go back for seconds and thirds.



What's a special event without its signature cookies, right! Dolce Bakery had us have our hands in the cookie tin, with their amazing KCFW signature sugar cookies. And who can miss the cupcakes!


Coopers Hawk Winery ensured that the bubbly was flowing throughout the evening, and everyone was in high spirits literally.
The lovely ladies of Kendra Scott were there with their mobile Color Bar. I love Kendra Scoot and swear by my collection of Rayne Necklaces. If you do not know what the Color Bar is, then here it is for you. You choose your stone and your metal, and your necklace or your earring will be custom made for you. How cool is that!

Designer Nataliya Meyer of Lucia's Sarto showed us a sneak peek of her collection, which was shown later during the Saturday night runway shows. The "Barbie," inspired collection by Lucia's Sarto, made you realize that Barbie is the choice for moms like us too, and not only our toddler daughter. The collection was accessorized by accessories designer C Annman Nelson. I have seen my fair share of runway shows by Nataliya, and I can tell you, that she is well known for her attention to detail, and her exquisite couture gowns. If you thought of fashion shows and haute couture, it will be Nataliya who comes to mind, if you have at least seen one of her shows. I loved how she used Pink, as a signature color in her latest Barbie-inspired collection.
What is fashion week without some quality time with some of my favorite blogger babes!

It was a great start to a wonderful season.





Thank you Sabrina Dunne Photography for photographing me at the event. 

All other event photographs are by me.