Stories for December 2014

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Wednesday, December 31

15 events for 2015: How to kick off the new year in Lawrence

Experiencing a bit of a post-holiday letdown? Cheer up — with an exciting mix of concerts, plays and perhaps a ghost sighting or two on the horizon, there’s plenty to do in Lawrence this winter. Here are few ideas to kick off 2015 with a bang. Now, get out there and embrace the New Year. It could be your best yet.

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Today in Lawrence: Cold NYE; early show at Jazzhaus; SELLOUT! at the country club

Today in Lawrence: It will be cold for New Year's Eve; catch the early show at Jazzhaus, or dance to SELLOUT! at the country club!

Tuesday, December 30

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Today in Lawrence: Single-digit temps; City Commission meeting; karaoke night

Today in Lawrence: Temperatures will drop into the single-digits; the Lawrence City Commission will meet on consent agenda items; sing karaoke at Wayne & Larry's

Monday, December 29

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Today in Lawrence: Sunny weather with cold temps tonight; music at library; short films at Liberty Hall

Today in Lawrence: Good weather with cold temps tonight; music at library; short films at Liberty Hall

Sunday, December 28

The 10 best films of 2014

This year's list features films about vampires, aliens and teenage punk rockers, plus the most disappointing films of 2014..

Saturday, December 27

SeedCo settles in to new home, looks to future

The artists of SeedCo Studios moved into a newly rebuilt industrial building in September after zoning issues forced them from their original space, and now the group is looking to expand into Kansas City.

Kansas City Connection: In the mood to celebrate New Year's

Kansas City Connection’s New Year’s Eve guide will help you pick from some of the city’s best options, conveniently categorized by what you’re in the mood for. We’ve included a few daytime/family-friendly options as well.

Friday, December 26

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Today in Lawrence: Rain expected; the final Final Friday of 2014; museum tours!

Today in Lawrence: Showers expected; the final Final Friday of 2014; museum tours!

Thursday, December 25

Fashion Column Twins: With New Year's Eve dresses, go big or stay home

We searched high and low and found some great options for New Year’s Eve looks.

Lawrence foodies, music lovers have lots of options for New Year's

If you're still unsure where you'll be ringing in 2015, have no fear — Lawrence has plenty to offer for both night owls and early risers alike. Here are just a few options to get the party started.

Style Scout: Stacey Blakeman

Describe your style: Well, now it’s mom chic!

Style Scout: Mike and Blair Blakeman

Describe Blair’s style: It’s power clashing.

Home Style: The buzz about beeswax candles

Although electricity has made light easily accessible year-round, the soft glow of candlelight is something that many continue to seek during the short days of winter.

Megan on the Move: Making an effort for me-time

I’ve been trying hard lately to make room for myself. I know that’s a common theme among adults, especially those with children, but it becomes increasingly difficult with careers and schedules and homes and the trappings of being a grown-up.

Cooking from Scratch: The simply huge German pancake

A German pancake is rich, egg-y breakfast concoction that puffs up impressively in the oven and only requires five ingredients to make.

Fix-It Chick: How to choose the best space heater for your needs

Electric space heaters come in lots of shapes and sizes, but they all use the same amount of power to produce a similar amount of heat. What differentiates one heater from another is how it delivers the heat. Follow these steps to choose the best heater for the job at hand.

Garden Variety: Feeding birds in winter

Birds fend for themselves very well, but providing a little extra food for them in the winter can be an entertaining hobby for nature and bird enthusiasts.

Off the Beaten Plate: Agedashi tofu at Wa Japanese Restaurant

Even the most tofu-phobic might appreciate this traditional Japanese dish from Wa. After all, everything is better fried, as they say.

Wednesday, December 24

Staying in for New Year's? Here are 6 fun activities to help you game plan

Whether you’re hosting a few friends or plan to stay holed up with your family, here are six activities to help you ring in the new year.

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Today in Lawrence: Have a happy holiday!

Today in Lawrence: Finish up your last-minute to-do list, and have a Merry Christmas!

Bite Sighs: Ginger-Cherry Bites with Meringue

Hey, remember that jar of molasses that you bought on a whim ages ago? Well, break it out, because I’m using the month of December to indulge my love of gingerbread.

Tuesday, December 23

Lawrence Creates Makerspace to host first-ever winter chautauqua

With a new year approaching fast, the Lawrence Creates Makerspace is bringing back an old tradition this weekend.

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Today in Lawrence: Skating and fine art to round out your holiday week

Today in Lawrence: Go ice skating at Lawrence Public Library plaza, and see visit the Lawrence Arts Center before it closes for the holiday!

Sunday, December 21

Lawrence artist's 'meaningful' gemstone necklace line picked up by Urban Outfitters

Megan Roelofs’ personal mantra is “Life keeps getting better and better.” And for the Lawrence occupational therapist and jewelry artist, it seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Her handmade gemstone necklace line was picked up by Urban Outfitters this year. Her unique wearable art features leathers intricately woven around gemstones, shells and other natural elements. By Caitlin Doornbos

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Today in Lawrence: Showers, yarn crafts group, basketball at Liberty Hall

Today in Lawrence: Showers, yarn crafts group, basketball at Liberty Hall

Saturday, December 20

Soup's on: Author uses short stories to help challenge preconceptions of disabilities

“You can push her over there,” said the woman behind the desk.

Percolator to host annual winter-solstice celebration

The Lawrence Percolator is hosting its annual winter-solstice celebration today.

Kansas City Connection: Dining delights in the West Bottoms

This week: fancy eats in the West Bottoms, intriguing plays at the Unicorn and your last chance to check out Christmas lights.

Friday, December 19

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Today in Lawrence: Weekend of holiday happenings and warmer weather

Today in Lawrence: The weekend holds a lot of holiday fun and some warmer weather for enjoying it!

Thursday, December 18

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Today in Lawrence: Snow showers; get fresh at Cottins' indoor farmers' market; BongoTini brings retro holiday cheer

Today in Lawrence: Snow showers; get fresh at Cottins' indoor farmers' market; BongoTini brings retro holiday cheer

Wednesday, December 17

EMUProv comedy group to stage holiday show today

Local improvisational comedy group EMUProv hopes to "Improv the Holidays" with their show today at Frank's North Star Tavern, 508 Locust St.

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Crafting gifts: 4 easy present ideas to make yourself

The warmth of a handmade gift goes a long way toward cutting through December’s chill. But what if you’re not particularly crafty or can’t spend a fortune on supplies? Can you still give handmade gifts that your family and friends will treasure?

Celtic singer Ashley Davis returns home to perform at Lied Center

Ashley Davis may call Kansas home, but these days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find her there.

Off the Beaten Plate: Grilled Glazer at Harolds Fried Chicken & Donuts

If you catch a glimpse of the Grilled Glazer from far away, it might appear to be a normal chicken sandwich. Upon closer inspection, though, and it's pretty clear that this is no ordinary meal.

Family Adventures: Give the gift of cookies every month

What to get our grandmothers for Christmas — it’s always a struggle. A few years ago, I hit on a good solution.

On the Cheap: Stuff stockings without unstuffing your wallet

With Christmas fast-approaching, your stockings are likely already hung by the chimney with care. Here are some tips to help stuff those stockings on any budget.

Style Scout: Courtney Crouch

Tell us a secret: I don’t like bacon.

Style Scout: Kyle Meyers

What would you like to see more of in Lawrence? I’d like to see at least one higher-end men’s shop in Lawrence and more jazz music.

Fashion Column Twins: Bundle up with a vest or sweater

Winter is upon us, and bundling up is always on my mind. Two pieces to help you layer up and be comfortable are a faux fur vest and turtleneck sweater.

Garden Variety: Bonsai basics

Culturing bonsai takes more than a green thumb: The ancient art requires patience, skill and a keen recognition of nature. Bonsai is worth a try (or several), though, as a properly tended specimen will provide its owner with beauty for a hundred years or more.

Fix-It Chick: Replace a tub drain flange

Replacing an existing tub drain flange with a new tip-toe or lift-and-turn drain flange is easy, if you can get the old flange to unscrew from the tub drain.

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Today in Lawrence: Snow likely tonight; box art at LAC; singalong at the public library

Today in Lawrence: Snow likely tonight; box art at LAC; singalong at the public library

Tuesday, December 16

Book of unseen portraits to shed new light on Burroughs

Kansas University student Patrick Clement is the author and curator behind a new book that he says will offer a fresh perspective on Beat Generation writer (and one-time Lawrencian) William S. Burroughs.

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Today in Lawrence: It's a governmental kind of day

Today in Lawrence: It's a governmental kind of day, with a Town Hall by Lynn Jenkins and Lawrence City Commission

Saturday, December 13

Homemade for the holidays: Local artists craft greeting cards by hand

We are living in the age of DIY, says Sarah McCormick. In a time when the many uses of a Mason jar can draw as much excitement from folks as the newest iPhone, a handful of local artists are finding a market for handmade greeting cards.

Kansas City Connection: Karaoke and a cup of joe

Whenever someone proposes a one-word group activity like trivia, Twister or karaoke, I instantly start refreshing my mental list of excuses. But if I find myself in an agreeable mood and decide to take part, I usually have a great time (except in the case of Twister — that never ends well).

Friday, December 12

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Today in Lawrence: Weekend is filled with warmer temps and holiday events!

Today in Lawrence: This weekend will see highs in the 50s and holiday events galore — from the Kansas Nutcracker to Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas.' Check out what the weekend has to offer!

Thursday, December 11

Wednesday, December 10

Cast, along with beards, grow in latest incarnation of 'A Kansas Nutcracker'

This weekend, Ric Averill will complete his months-long transformation into Gen. Hugh Cameron, an eccentric figure who settled in Lawrence during the tumultuous years just before the Civil War.

Off the Beaten Plate: Walking Tacos at Henry T's

The “Walking Taco” is all about convenience. Order up a plate of these babies at Henry T’s and forget about the to-go box.

Garden Variety: Topping harmful to trees

Tree experts and professional arborists have agreed for decades that the pruning practice known as topping is detrimental to trees, but it continues to happen across the country and right here in Douglas County.

Fix-It Chick: 10 ways to make the holidays a little (or a lot) greener

When it comes to holiday traditions, making eco-conscious decisions can help your wallet as well as the environment! Here are some easy ways to make the holiday season a little greener.

Megan on the Move: An escape plan from getting sick

Motherhood does not equal martyrdom, and don't let anyone tell you different.

Cooking From Scratch: Grocery store gifts

Black Friday, Cyber Monday ― blech! Call me a Grinch if you want, but I hate the mall. I'd much rather do my holiday shopping at the grocery store.

Style Scout: Eli Allen

Fashion trends you love: I’m really into stuff like Rick Owens, goth ninja, drop-crotch sweats and big ol' parkas. I can never pull it off but I think they’re pretty sweet.

Style Scout: Nici Ashner

Fashion trends you love: Velvet thigh-highs are my two favorites this year. Velvet is coming back!

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Today in Lawrence: Weather in 40s; Adornment art sale; fun at LHS

Today in Lawrence: Weather in 40s; Adornment art sale; fun at LHS

Tuesday, December 9

Delicious/Nutritious: Ginger a healthy, tasty treat

Ginger is a spicy root that is small but mighty — not just in size but in both flavor and health benefits.

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Today in Lawrence: Temps drop; choir concert; holiday lights by hayrack

Today in Lawrence: Temps drop; choir concert; holiday lights by hayrack

Monday, December 8

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Today in Lawrence: Tuba consort, 'The Last Cyclist' at Murphy Hall

Today in Lawrence: Tuba consort, 'The Last Cyclist' at Murphy Hall

Sunday, December 7

Kansas City Connection: All aboard for holiday activities

Kansas City’s Union Station is staying busy in its centennial year, and December alone is full of enough events and activities to fill an entire column. Instead, let’s focus on just a few of this month’s holiday highlights.

Behind the Lens: Gifts for photographers

For those of you searching out gift ideas for your photographer spouse, friend or for your “selfie,” here are a few stocking-stuffer ideas.

Saturday, December 6

Lawrence Percolator to debut 'sunny' art show

As winter progresses and the days get shorter, colder and darker, the folks at the Lawrence Percolator hope to remind us of happier times with a new show celebrating — what else? — the sun.

Spencer Museum's WWI art helps recall past, understand present

In an oil painting hanging from a gallery wall on the fourth floor of the Spencer Museum of Art, a single saucer-shaped eye looks out underneath the brim of a combat helmet adorned with a crown of barbed wire.

Lawrence poet lands on New York Times Notable Books list

The “Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas” has done it again. Patricia Lockwood, a Lawrence resident and poet who earned the nickname earlier this year in a New York Times piece, was noted in the famed newspaper’s “100 Notable Books of 2014” last week.

Friday, December 5

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Today in Lawrence: Enjoy a weekend jammed with holiday events

Today in Lawerence: The weekend is chock full of holiday events, from ways to get gifts to ways to give back. Celebrate with parades, music, shopping and more!

Thursday, December 4

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Today in Lawrence: Overnight rain; wheat harvest documentary; gingerbread festival

Today in Lawrence: Overnight rain; wheat harvest documentary; gingerbread festival and auction

Wednesday, December 3

KU Theatre to stage political satire written in concentration camp

This weekend, Kansas University Theater will open a "reimagined and reconstructed" version of "The Last Cyclist," an absurdist cabaret that originated in Terezin Concentration Camp near Prague during the Holocaust.

Family Adventures: Counting down the holidays with fun activities

I have a thing for advent calendars. I love the idea of counting down to anything, really, but — as I’m Clark Griswold-y about Christmas — it tends to be worse around the holidays.

Fashion Column Twins: Stay chic in cold weather

Looks that are easy to throw together and will keep you warm and stylish all season.

Fix-It Chick: How to wield a power drill

Electric or cordless power drills are arguably the most widely used power tool around. Seemingly a simple tool to use, there are a few tricks that can make your power drill experience a little more pleasant.

Garden Variety: 10 creative gift ideas for the gardener in your life

If you have a gardener to shop for this holiday season, there are many more creative options than the amaryllis bulb gift sets and windowsill herb planters available at many mass retailers. Here are the top 10 ideas to score big with a gardener.

On the Cheap: Creative holiday gifts for less

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us, and with it comes lots and lots of shopping. When you buy a gift at a downtown retailer you are likely to find something more unique so your gift will stand out among the others, a factor that in itself is priceless. Here are some tips I use to save money on unique holiday gifts.

Style Scout: Sharyn Harley

Fashion influences: It’s really bad but I love Free People. It’s my major weakness!

Style Scout: Cyrus Hodgson

Tell us a secret: The most expensive thing I ever bought was a pair of $400 Visvim Virgil boots. They originally retailed for $1,200.

Theatre Lawrence's 'Mary Poppins' takes flight this weekend

Those expecting a carbon copy of the 1964 classic film starring Julie Andrews as a singing, flying nanny may be in for a surprise come Friday evening, when “Mary Poppins” makes its debut at Theatre Lawrence.

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Today in Lawrence: Clouds, Common Core discussion and holiday art sale

Today in Lawrence: Clouds, Common Core discussion and holiday art sale

Tuesday, December 2

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Today in Lawrence: You're getting warmer; Dog Days moves inside; KU musicians at Lied Center

Today in Lawrence: You're getting warmer; Dog Days workout moves inside; KU musicians playing at Lied Center

Monday, December 1

Off the Beaten Plate: Pumpkin Curry at Baan Thai

With Thanksgiving officially over and next month’s holiday feasts on their way, pumpkin heyday is in full swing. For those who can’t get enough of the festive vegetable, might we suggest something a little out of the ordinary: pumpkin curry at Baan Thai.

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Today in Lawrence: A day of wintry festivities, including Festival of Trees

Today in Lawrence: A day of wintry festivities, including Festival of Trees; join the city in the Ninth Street Corridor discussion.