Career/Professional, Friendship, Kansas

That’s a lot of bacon…

My job is so much cooler than yours.
Well at least this past weekend it was.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Bacon. Is. Hot.
So much so, that it gets its own festival in Kansas City.
That’s right, a whole day dedicated to that salty, savory strip of wonderful. And because of my job, I got to go.

Ladies and gents, I present to you: Bacon-Fest: The Other Fundraiser


Bacon Fest is an annual fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute of KC, an organization that provides physical rehabilitation services to youth and adults in the Kansas City area. The event features dozens of eateries, caterers and companies who all bring their bacon inspired dishes for hundreds of bacon lovers and enthusiasts to sample. There were pulled pork sandwich bites, tacos, pizza, jam, cheddar meatballs, yogurt, various desserts and appetizers and more – all featuring bacon in some form. There were even two bacon inspired drinks, including a bacon bloody mary (I passed) and a bacon breakfast shot (definitely did not pass.) And Farmland Foods rounded out the bacon menu with simplicity, featuring eight or so different cuts and seasoned strips to try. The bacon is paired with a featured micro brew beer station, live local music and to round out the fun there is a bacon eating contest (we’ll get to that in a minute) and a bacon recipe contest.

So here’s where I come in. Kansas Pork is a sponsor at this event and this year we also featured a fun bacon photo booth that was complete with various signs and props that attendees could snap a picture in front of with their friends and then enter to win bacon by uploading that picture to social media, using the hash tag #baconfarmers.  Pretty cool, huh? The bonus for me (besides unlimited bacon to sample of course) was that I was able to bring along a few friends to enjoy the day with me. A huge thanks to Megan, Kyla and Elliott for tagging along with me and helping out here and there when we needed it. Overall the day what a pretty big success and a whole lot of fun. It’s still a little crazy to me that there is a whole food culture and fad built around this beloved breakfast food. There were so many crazy costumes, funny t-shirts, and fun giveaways. I think we decided that overall our favorites were the bacon cheddar meatballs, chocolate covered bacon, bacon jam, steak seasoned bacon strips and the bacon bloody marys.

And going back to that bacon eating contest… Now I’ve been to a bowl game, witnessed some buzzer beaters and am competitive to a fault, but I have to say, sitting front and center for a bacon eating contest is quite the experience. Competitors are given a pound of bacon and five minutes. The person who finishes first or eats the most (in weight) in that time period is crowned the champion – and people take this competition very seriously. If you know me, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to find me mocking this a slight bit, and I did, until this 120-something lb spunky middle aged woman won! This chick beat out 30 or so other competitors (mostly big burly guys) and won over the crowd at the same time. That’s the last time I’ll mock an eating competition.

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If you are in or near the Kansas City area I encourage you to look into attending the event in the future. It is held near the end of August each year and goes toward helping out a great cause and organization. And…chances are, I’ll be there again. My roommate Megan is already eyeing her calender to make that weekend available to tag along next year.

As for me, I’m never going to think of bacon the same way again.

So There's That Series

So There’s That: Vol. 2

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five” except it’s probably not Friday and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. This is my# postgradlife.}

1. Blog Makeover

As you can see I did a little bit of a makeover on the blog this weekend. There is still one more section that is being finished. Be looking for that addition next week. What do you think about the new digs? What are some blog must-haves, and what do you like about other blogs that make them unique?

At our graduation party.
At our graduation party.

2. Leah is getting herself hitched!

One of my best friends announced her engagement this weekend. After knowing about it for the past two weeks, it was about all I could do to not freely jump for joy. Leah was my roommate in Smurthwaite Scholarship House my freshman year at K-State. She was the hippie and I was the country girl. But we bonded over our curly red hair, soft spots for a cheesy love song, love for flowers and plants, eating pickles and peanut butter, and adventuring through the many trials and memories of college together. She is one of the kindest, loving and humble girls that I know and I am over the moon that she has found someone to love her like she deserves. And I am honored to be standing up with her and Ryan next year when they say I do!

3. Professional reading
I read some interesting thoughts over the top five personality traits that employers look for on, which is a wonderful resource for new grads, seasoned employees and employers alike. I had the opportunity to write them a two years ago and made it a habit to see what they have to say on a regular basis.

This past week I read: Employers look for executive personality traits before hiring.

With a pretty comprehensive description for each trait I can personally identify which traits that I do well emulating and which ones that I need to work on. What do you think of their list? How do you work toward polishing these traits? Or, is there a more valuable personality trait you would rather see on the list?

4. My Fourth of July

My favorite holiday was a success! I got my starry night extravagant fireworks show that I always look forward to and earlier in the evening I added to my jams for the week at the Manhattan Municipal Band Independence Day concert that my roommate Kyla played in. Though the fireworks are always my favorite, the Armed Services Salute was played at the band concert, inviting servicemen and women to stand up when they heard their tune, stole the show. The college aged kid who helped his grandpa stand up out of his wheelchair put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

5. Big Kid Business
Whelp, I guess that I am now really, really official now. My business cards came in today! AND since everyone in the office was about ready to reorder, I got to redesign them. Whatcha think? The back features a new project that we are working on that will launch at the end of July. Excuse me, while I do a little happy dance.


Yah, So There’s That.

Life Notes

#MonthofThanksgiving – Part 3

Wrapping up my #MonthofThanksgiving by sharing Part 3. Hope everyone had a wonderful month and got a chance to reflect back on a few of the things that they are thankful for. I’m glad that I did. Wishing everyone Happy Holidays, I am pretty excited to finally be on my home in just 12 days! Enjoy.

#Day21 I am thankful for childhood #bestfriends that still support each other though we’re thousands of miles apart#MonthofThanksgiving

Kay, Chole and I as senior's in high school.
Kay, Chole and I as seniors in high school.

#Day22 I am thankful for technology that lets me be with my family on days that being far away stings a little bit more #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day23 I am thankful for faith, hope and love, and being taught to believe in each. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day24 I am thankful for Caden Eli. 5 years ago today he was born and changed a lot of lives, including mine. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day25 I am thankful for my roommate Kyla, for being my voice of reason & favorite crazy redhead all in one. #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day26 I am thankful for my mentors, who are there to lift me up, challenge and push me to be better and dream big #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day27 I am thankful for Smurthwaite Scholarship House, my sisters and the memories it has given me #home #smurthielove #MonthofThanksgiving

Seniors back for this fall's alumni dinner.
Senior Smurthie’s back for this fall’s alumni dinner.

#Day28 I am thankful to have grown up in a family business, to work alongside and learn from those I love and respect #MonthofThanksgivng

#Day29 I am thankful for the talent & character that God has given me & the drive to try to do something good with it #MonthofThanksgiving

#Day30 I am thankful that I get to live in this “crazy, beautiful life” of mine #MonthofThanksgiving

– Amanda