The Shopping Scout in Kansas City

 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Village Active

You may remember Jake's in the Village as the "Life is Good" store. Well, the store has taken on a new name and a whole new range of merchandise. They will now be called Village Active with most of their merchandise geared towards apparel and accessories for active lifestyles.

I stopped in because I saw the big Village Active sign and I thought it was an entirely new shop. After talking to the owners, I came to find out it is still the same store; just with a new name and a new vision. They still carry a good amount of Life is Good merchandise, but now they are incorporating some really great lines of fitness clothing.

One of them happens to Prana, which is a well known Yoga and active wear line. The silhouettes are very wearable and the quality is great. The great thing about Prana is that it can be worn for everyday too, not just for working out.

Now through Sunday, all remaining Spring/Summer merchandise will be 25% off to make room for new fall merchandise.

They also have one of my favorite lines, Alo. This company is designing clothes for an active lifestyle, all the while they are doing so in an eco-friendly manner. Each garment is made from recycled and minimal impact materials.


I am personally head over heels for their bamboo jersey. It's the softest fabric and wears and washes extremely well. This jacket is a must for fall. Love the asymmetrical zipper and collar detail. $75

Village Active is located at 3930 W. 69th Terrace. www.villageactive.com 913-236-0015

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Only 4 days left...Trapp's end of season sale!

Trapp and Company is having their bi-annual clearance sale and let me tell you, it is worth the trip! The entire store is 25% off and some items are up to 50-75% off.

The sale ends July 31st, so you only have a few days left to pick up some fabulous bargains.

Only 2 times a year their candles go on sale and this is one of them. It's the perfect time to stock up on your favorite Trapp fragrance.

They have really reasonable jewelry and accessories, which are all 25% off.  This pearl and crystal necklace is timeless...$54

 I purchased these 2 "bling bracelets" as they call them. They had a bunch of different color combos. I liked the pearl and Turquoise and the Turquoise with Crystals. $13.50 each.

These satin clutches are a bargain at $25 and then minus 50% off

All of their beautiful home decor is on sale...

with some seasonal merchandise at 50% off....like these pretty decorative boxes starting at $9.

Trapp and Company is located at 4110 Main, Kansas City, Missouri 64111 816-931-6940

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jersey Girl

July and August are hard, because it really is sale mode and stores are at their lowest inventory. I am going to do my best to bring you some good finds in the next few weeks, but it definitely is putting my shopping skills to the test!

I just happened upon these dresses at Target yesterday and I had to try them on. I love a Jersey knit dress, especially when it is SO BLAZING HOT that you really can't wear anything but lightweight cotton. I was so pleasantly surprised by the fit of this dress. I think it would appeal to many women, and look good on different body types.

(and yes, those are my son's feet in the picture...with no school until September he has been my shopping partner!)

The straps are wide and it has ample room through the chest, the blouson waist is also good for hiding a tummy. The skirt was flattering; not too fitted and not too flared. For $24.99 you could get 2! It came in Red, Black and Black/White Striped by Mossimo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hostess with the Mostess

I am always searching for the perfect hostess gift. Whether you are trying to find a gift for someone throwing a party, or just hosting you and your family at their home this summer; I feel it's always nice to show up with something for the host.

R.S.V.P in the Village has a fabulous selection of hostess gift ideas. Whether you want something unique, or something that can be personalized, they have it all. I like that almost all of the options here are under $35. It goes to show that you don't need to spend a fortune to find something special.

One of the best hostess gifts I have ever received was a pretty tray and guest napkins that I use in my guest bath. The letter weight gives the tray a personal touch and keeps the napkins nicely in place. Holder $18.75, Napkins $7 and letter weight $5.

Personalized notepads are practical and great for just about anyone. These are only $10 and can be personalized in 2 days. So if you are looking for a last minute gift, these are perfect!

Instead of your typical indoor candle, a pretty citronella candle is a great alternative. These by Illume are $30 and come in scents like FreshRain, Lime Verbena and Orange Blossom.

If your hostess likes to throw frequent parties, these initial coasters are adorable. $13

After we have stayed in someones home, I like to send a Thank You afterwards. I love the idea of giving a pretty frame, complete with a picture from the time spent together. $40

all of these fun items can be found at R.S.V.P in the Village 3934 W 69th Terrace
Prairie Village, KS 66208
(913) 432-7787

Monday, July 25, 2011

After-Sun Refresher

If you are smart, you have probably been spending these long, hot summer days by the pool. Sun and a lot of exposure to chlorine can completely zap your skin of moisture. I sometimes feel that even if I put lotion on as soon as I get home from the pool it's just not enough.

I recently discovered a product that I think would be the perfect solution to this problem. It's the Sun Verbena Milky Fragrance from L'Occitane. This alcohol free mist contains high levels of Aloe and Glycerin to help you maintain optimal moisture in your skin. Not only does it feel good, it smells absolutely wonderful.

They also make a body lotion in this same scent that has SPF 15. I  This lotion will give you great moisture, protection and it has a beautiful light fragrance that is easy to wear during this time of year.

The limited edition of Sun Verbena products can be found at L'Occitane on the Country Club Plaza.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More great stores coming to K.C.!

It seems like the past few weeks more and more companies are announcing their arrival in Kansas City. This is great for me, because as you know I am always looking for places to scout out great items.

On Monday, I found out that Kate Spade New York is coming to the Country Club Plaza! Such exciting news, considering Kate Brosnahan (Spade) is originally from Kansas City. The St.Theresa's and K.U. grad started a sleek handbag line that was bought by Liz Claiborne inc. in 2007. She now has 36 stores nationwide and has branched out into things like housewares, shoes and clothing.

The Kansas City Kate Spade store will carry handbags, clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear and hosiery. They are using half of the old Eddie Bauer space, right next to the brand new Michael Kors store. They are set to open on September 22nd (just in time for my birthday). Lucky for me!


In case you missed it, H&M announced that they will be opening on the Country Club Plaza right around the Holidays. When I head the news, I could hardly contain my excitement. This was my go-to store when I lived in Chicago. They have Men's, Women's and really fantastic kids clothes as well.

They are a Swedish company that strives to bring consumers the latest in fashion at an affordable price. Don't worry, it's not another Forever 21. The quality is much better and the styles are not so young. They do offer fantastic style and great prices; I think Kansas City will really embrace and enjoy having this store here.



Just last week I found out that a Polo Ralph Lauren Factory store will be coming to the Legends Outlets and is set to open on October 14th. They will have Men's, Women's, Kids and home items. This is one store that I am SO excited about. If you have boys, you know what I mean. A classic Polo shirt in a few colors will get you through an entire summer. I personally love the ladies clothing too; timeless and sophisticated.

I can't wait for these stores to open, we definitely have an exciting Fall to look forward to in Kansas City!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Get in my belly: Homemade Gnocchi at Bella Napoli

Whether you are a novice or an expert cook, it never hurts to brush up on your cooking skills. Since last year Bella Napoli in Brookside has been inviting small groups into their kitchen to learn how to cook (and then enjoy) their very own Italian feast.

Alex Staab, one of the chef's at Bella Napoli hosts a cooking class on Sunday evenings. You pay $35-$45 depending on the ingredients for that evening and you will learn to cook 3 different dishes. He usually does an appetizer, pasta and if there is time a meat or fish dish. A glass of wine is included, so you can sip while you cook...just as you would in your own kitchen.

I took a class a few weeks ago and I enjoyed every minute of it. 10 friends and I gathered in the kitchen and learned to whip up an easy but absolutely delicious prosciutto and fig bruschetta and then we did homemade gnocchi with 2 different sauces. What I liked is that the recipes are simple, so that you won't be intimidated to try them at home. We had enough for leftovers the next day and you better believe we ate every last bite!

photos via Bella Napoli Facebook page

For class information you can call Bella Napoli at   816-444-1138 or "like" their Facebook Page. They are located at 6229 Brookside Blvd in Kansas City, Missouri.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who knew?

I walked into Cost Plus World Market looking for table linens and was pleasantly surprised to find such great jewelry and accessories. I got totally distracted by all of the fun things...


Like these sets of bangles ranging from $6.99-$19.99


These Cotton Voile tunics in gorgeous prints would be the best beach cover up $24.99


With a white dress this necklace would be beautiful $24.99


They had TONS of scarves $14.99-$24.99

I found all of these items at the Cost Plus World Market located at 135th and State Line.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back to basics

Right now is definitely a tough time to shop. It's end of the season and though you might be able to score some great deals, most of the stores are very picked over. While stores are clearing out their merchandise, some great basics are on sale. It's the perfect time to stock up on your favorite tees and tanks that will transition into fall.

 I happened to find all of these items at Kohl's. I just stumbled upon them and knew that I had to share them with you all!

The short sleeve tee by Simply Vera Wang at Kohls' is one of the best short sleeve tees I have tried on. The sleeve is a great length (not too long, not too short) and the length is longer which means you don't have to worry about it shrinking and being too short. You can never have enough of these in basic white or black. They are normally $30 and right now are on sale for $17.99

Leggings aren't going away ladies, so you may as well stock up on them now. I tried on the Daisy Fuentes capri length at Kohl's and was blown away. They are thicker than most I have tried on and they fit perfect. I did have to size up in them, but I didn't mind at all. I think a Capri is a nice length  paired back with flats and longer tunics or sweaters.  Originally they were $26 and are on sale now for $15.49. I have them with a cute draped tank from Vera Wang $38.

Layering tanks are a girls best friend, especially when you transition into the next season. Wear them now with a skirt or shorts and then throw them under sweaters and blazers for fall.  If you want something casual, but with a touch of detail the lace trim tanks by Lauren Conrad at Kohl's are great. They are extremely soft and comfortable (no itchy lace on these) and they come in 6 colors.They were $24 and are on sale for $13.99

Monday, July 18, 2011

Classic K.C.

The building that houses McCormick & Schmick's on the County Club Plaza is legendary. The lovely domed ceiling and terrace overlooking the Plaza make it a spot that locals have visited and loved for years. Last week, they were closed in order to give the dining room a "facelift" just in time to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

I had the pleasure of being there to help them celebrate the renovation and was delighted to see all the great changes they made. There is all new carpet and the furniture has been updated with modern fabric and upholstery. They made the dining room and bar much more light and open with a sleek, updated feel. They have installed an exquisite wine wall that goes from the bar to the dining room and the menu has been majorly revamped.

A few highlights for me were the Panzanella salad $6.90 which is a rustic Italian salad made with day old bread, heirloom tomatoes and Mozzarella. Perfect paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on a warm summer night.

 I also loved the Atlantic Salmon sizzle...which literally comes sizzling to your table. The salmon is placed on a bed of veggies with a mushroom truffle or Asian black pepper sauce $26.70

And you can't go to McCormick's without having their signature dessert, the Chocolate Bag! This thing is beautiful inside and out, let me tell you. The "bag" is made of semi-sweet Belgium dark chocolate, with a white chocolate mousse and fresh berries on a bed of Raspberry Puree. You can satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling TOO guilty. At least fruit is involved, right?

They are located at 448 West 47th Street Kansas City, MO 64112-1903
(816) 531-6800

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Scents

I love Fragrance just about as much as I love a great handbag or pair of shoes. I feel like a "signature scent" is something that you can wear forever and will always be remembered by. I also feel that you must switch up your fragrance depending on the season. There are many perfumes that smell awful in this hot, humid weather. For summer, I like to choose something light; with a hint of citrus and  a touch of floral.

Bulgari's Eau The Blanc (White Tea), has been a favorite of mine for years. It's also gender neutral, so even your man might like to share it with you. It has a soothing white tea scent with accents of white pepper.  $62 at most department stores or Sephora.

I Just recently I tried Tocca's Florence on at Anthropologie and now I can't get it out of my mind. This fragrance is scented with a 16th century English garden rose called "Centifolias" or cabbage roses. Combined with Iris Root, the fragrance comes off delicate and feminine. Other notes include Italian Bergamot, Grapefruit leaves, Green Pear, Apple cocktail, Ivory Gardenia, Crushed Violet Petals, Jasmine, Tuberose, Blue Iris, Blonde Wood, and White Musk. $68 at Anthropologie

Now this is definitely not a bargain, but Bond No.9's newest women's fragrance Madison Square Park epitomizes the scent of summer. First off, how cool is the bottle? I love this neon pink and green combo! This would be so pretty perched on your vanity. But, once you spray it you will understand why it is so intoxicating. It has notes of Grape hyacinth, huckleberry, prairie dropseed grass, red leaf rose, red hunter tulips,teakwood. At first it smells a bit citrus, but as it mixes with your skin and natural oils you are left with a gorgeous floral scent.

I am totally smitten, this will definitely be on my Birthday wish list.  I always work with Chloe at the Bond No.9 fragrance counter at Hall's, she is a true expert and can point you in the right direction. Madison Square Park starts at $90 for a purse spray on up to $240 (for a very large) 100ML bottle. (only available at Hall's)


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

Starting today through Saturday, the Crestwood shops are hosting their annual sidewalk sale and the annual Crestwood Dog Show. Crestwood has some of my favorite boutiques in Kansas City, so this is a good time to visit them and grab some great items on sale. I love Frankly Basic for sundresses and cute accessories, The Little House has beautiful and classic kids items and Bennett Schneider has some of the prettiest stationery in the city.

Also, stick around for the Crestwood Dog show on Saturday. Bring your pup down to compete in cute and creative categories like the waggiest tail, Most ear-risistible ears or best dressed. Registration starts and 9 and the show begins at 10. The entry fee is $15 for one contest or $25 for 3 contests. All proceeds will benefit Wayside Waifs (a charity near and dear to my heart).

The Crestwood shops are located at 55th and Brookside Blvd in Kansas City.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Put on your shopping shoes!

Friday is a big day for retail in Kansas City! First off,  Trader Joe's is opening both of it's locations in the Kansas City area. One is in the Ward Parkway Mall and the other is right next to the One Nineteen shopping center.

I have not been to a Trader Joe's since I lived in Chicago, so I am anxious to go and check it out. From what I remember they have great coffee, a huge selection of nuts and healthy snack food, a fabulous wine assortment and prepared foods perfect for serving at a party. Doors open at 8AM, will you be there?

Friday is also the first day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. For 2 whole weeks you can get next season's merchandise (brand new) on sale. This sale is legendary because it creates so much buzz. People will be lined up to get there at 8AM so they can snatch up the must-have items for fall. I have my eye on some Tory Burch riding boots, a Nars and Laura Mercier fall cosmetics set and a wool poncho. This is also a great time to get kids shoes for back to school since they will all be on sale. The prices will go back up on August 1st, so shop fast and furious!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to School: Dressing up the the dorm room

I was at Marshall's yesterday and couldn't believe all of the cute stuff they had geared towards college students. They had different vignettes set up (by color) with all sorts of fun stuff. Pillows, Lamps, storage containers, hampers, bedding...you name it. If I was a college student, I would have gone nuts! This fun zebra lamp is $24.99

If you have a preppy Lily Pulitzer loving daughter, this paisley lamp is adorable. $29.99

You can never have enough storage in a tiny dorm room. These flannel storage boxes with bright colored lids would be a colorful accent to the room. $9.99-$12.99

This tiny stool would be cute for added seating $34.99

I  know this bench isn't dorm room appropriate, but I had to share. You can never go wrong with a trellis print! $79.99 and accent pillow was $19.99

All items were found at the new (and very organized and clean) Marshall's on 135th and State Line Road.

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 About Shopping Scout

Melanie Knopke

As a former clothing buyer turned working mom, Melanie Knopke understands the challenge of finding the best for less. Check in daily as Melanie reports back with incredible deals, fabulous finds and all the best that Kansas City has to offer.


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