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2017 - February

ttn logoFebruary, 2017: Welcome to February!

Kim Schultz

The second month of 2017 bring unusally mild temps. I still do not like cold weather! I am so excited because this month, our new team have included some really amazing blogs! I hope you take the time to read what they have submitted! Get to know the amazing people that help make The Topeka Newsletter so much better! My excellent adventures are still there but I want to give these guys top billing too! Thanks again for support The Topeka Newsletter and


A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance

Desmond Henry


A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance


I’m so excited to be among The Topeka Newsletter All-Star team! My goal is simple…to help you get financially fit. Think of me as a personal trainer for your finances. If a money goal is one of your New Year’s resolutions; becoming financially educated is the first step towards achieving financial success. Managing your money is about progress, not perfection. Cheers to a prosperous 2017!



 Desmond February


Should Couples Keep Joint Or Separate Bank Accounts?


Hello February…the month that prompts us to reminisce about LOVE. So what’s more romantic than talking about whether or not couples should merge their bank accounts together! (Sarcasm)

This is one of the first issues newlyweds face. It’s an important conversation that should occur well before the big day; but probably not on the first date! Doing so can help ensure both you and your sweetie are on the same page. 

After all, marriage is “for richer or poorer” right? You share a last name, a house, and even a bed now…but what about a bank account? (insert screeching brake noise).

“Becoming One” With Your Finances

Keeping separate bank accounts communicates the wrong message to your spouse (and your children because they’re listening too). When talking about money, it forces us to use negative relational words like “mine” and “yours” which has a very possessive connotation to them. Just think back to the last argument you had with your spouse…these words probably didn’t do you any favors such as “she’s YOUR mother-in-law” & “it’s MY house too”. Sharing a bank account with your spouse, replaces the “it’s my money” mentality with more unified words like “ours” and “us” which promotes the feeling of being a part of a team. After all, who wants to ask their spouse to “borrow” money.

We’re in This Together

It’s almost certain that sharing a joint account will cause conflict at one point or another when you forget to tell your spouse about a purchase however it also holds you more accountable. Knowing that your spouse can see what you are spending your money on and how much might actually be a good thing. This might prevent you from making foolish purchases that jeopardize your shared financial goals such as getting out of debt or saving for a down payment on a house.

Sharing a joint bank account triggers important money conversations with your spouse. You might be more willing to discuss your purchases with your spouse beforehand to make sure they fit within your budget.

Avoiding Financial Infidelity

Combining your financial resources together reinforces trust in each other and prevents “money secrets” or “financial infidelity”. There is a much smaller chance of encountering a financial “surprise” if all the money goes into and comes out of one account that both spouses can see. It also simplifies paying the bills and makes tracking your household spending much easier.

But I’ve Got a Bad Taste in My Mouth

Let’s face it, sometimes you’ve been burned by an ex. I’ve witnessed divorces that ended up leaving the spouse responsible for piles of debt or closing out bank accounts and leaving town with the money. If this is the situation your spouse is coming from and they are hesitant to merge finances again, you shouldn’t take it personally…they are “trying to keep history from repeating itself”.

I Love You but You Have Some Baggage

Putting money into separate accounts is a good idea if your new spouse comes with some baggage. Remember that creditors can garnish joint bank accounts so it might be wise to keep their name off. Psychologically, I also see problems arise when one spouse enters the marriage with alimony or child support payments and forces the other to pay them with joint funds. Lastly, maybe you or your significant other has some growing up to do financially before you have a “us” account. Some people just aren’t wired to be financially responsible so there’s no problem in waiting until things improve.

Let’s Compromise

Perhaps the right choice may be somewhere right in the middle. You share a joint account where each spouse deposits a portion of their income into for paying bills and working towards saving goals. This helps each spouse feel like they contributed towards process and gets to take ownership in the success of accomplishing shared financial goals. By also having separate accounts, it gives each spouse a greater sense of independence instead of feeling like big brother is watching over their spending.


Closing with My Personal Experience

My wife & I have been married for eight years and we’ve actually experimented with all three of these scenarios during that time. We started off with the “United we stand, divided we bank” approach which we both were actually content with. It wasn’t until I went to a financial therapy conference and listened to a presentation on this very topic. The presenter’s research was finding higher divorce rates among couples that kept separate bank accounts (that’s the Cliff Notes version).

Needless to say, it was enough evidence for me to come home and ask my wife if she was interested in making a change. Surprisingly, she was the one that wasn’t quite ready to “become one” with the “financial guru” (but she was previously divorced too). So we compromised and met in the middle.

We finally consolidated everything into one shared bank account when she stopped working because we both agreed we didn’t want feelings of “giving an allowance”. We’ve experienced success with all three models so I would suggest try different ways of handling the finances to see what works best for you and your sweetie.  While I’m an advocate for combining bank accounts, I’ve seen plenty of clients that have been happily married for decades and kept separate bank accounts.

For more valuable financial tips like these delivered straight to your inbox, sign up HERE…It’s FREE & don’t worry, we hate junk mail too!


Desmond Henry is a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner & founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas. He specializes in helping women, the retiring/retired, & clients under 40 improve their financial lives.


Gab Local


gab local blimp2


Gab Local was there when the Cyrus Hotel paid for 300 people to eat lunch for free! Check out the video! All Star Team

I would like to introduce you to my 2017 All Star Team

My team is made up of amazing people who live and work in Topeka! They are sure to add some fun and knoweledge to The Topeka Newsletter!


Desmond Henry Desmond Henry - Afflora Financial Life Planning

A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance

Desmond Henry is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™& founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning, a fee-only financial planning firm in Topeka, Kansas that specializes in working with women, retirees, & clients in their 20s & 30s. Desmond has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report, Yahoo! News, TK Business Magazine, & recognized as one of Topeka’s ‘Top 20 Under 40 Business Leaders’.



 annette hope billings new Annette Billings - Author/Writer

"In a Flash" - By Annette Hope Billings

Annette Hope Billings is a Topeka ArtsConnect Arty award-winning poet dubbed by her fans as "Maya of the Midwest." Her body of work includes poetry, short stories and plays. A nurse for decades before becoming a full-time writer, her deep penchant for caring comes through clearly in her writing. Her previous books include "A Net Full of Hope" (2015) and her recently published, "Descants for a Daughter." Her work has also been included in several anthologies of poetry and short stories. Website: @annettebilling3Amazon:





 Robin Bonsall

Robin Bonsall - Realtor/Actor/Wife/Mom

Neighborhood News: REALTOR® Robin style

About Realtor Robin

Robin is a born and raised Topekan who, as a youth, always thought she'd go far, far away from Kansas.  As an adult, Robin has discovered so many wonderful things about this community that make her proud to be rooted in Topeka. :)  Ever the performer, Robin spends a fair amount of "free time" volunteering on-stage, backstage, and in other capacities with Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy and with the Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble, a budding grassroots theatre company in the area.  When theatre isn't consuming her free time, Robin enjoys family bike rides, pretending to garden, singing lullabies to her babe, doing laundry (does one really enjoy this?) and supporting her husband in his hobby: UAV & Drone building!  There is never a dull moment in the Bonsall household. :)

Robin and her husband, Graham, have been blissfully married since August of 2009.  In 2013, they successfully brought a tiny human into the world. He has been terrorizing the family chihuahua, Joplin, and changing Robin & Graham's view of "the world" ever since.


Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz - President Tinkham Veale Creative and Founding Partner - Schultz Management, LLC

Being an Entrepreneur

Chris was born and raised in Topeka.  He is a graduate of Shawnee Heights High School and he attended Washburn University where he earned his B.A. in Theatre. In May of 2002, he opened Field Of Greens restaurant in Downtown Topeka. It wasn’t long before his family started getting even more involved in the company, which was the catalyst that grew his dream to include the opening of The Break Room and The Gourmet Cabaret Theater. Chris and his family were recently honored by Topeka Civic Theatre when they were presented with the prestigious Waldo B. Heywood award. In 2011, The Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts named Chris as one of the 20 Under 40 business leaders in Topeka. Chris is the creator of GabLocal.TV and serves as the President & Executive Producer of its parent company, Tinkham Veale Creative.


Chelsea Howe

Chelsea Ellis - Graphic Designer/Artist

Ampathetic Wannabe

Chelsea Howe is an award winning comic strip artist whose work has been published on a collegiate level. Her work has earned her first place in comics in 2013, second for online comic content in 2014, first place in illustrations in 2015, and second in infographics in 2016 at the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference. She was also the 150th Washburn University Yearbook editor-in-chief which took silver at state in 2016 and also won her the Most Outstanding Student Media Award for her hard work and dedication during Washburn's 2015 Mass Media Banquet. Her graphic design talents know no bounds, from designing play/musical posters and programs for well known local establishments, a jazz concert series and an award winning director, to the posters advertising local Topeka fundraisers, such as the 2014 Downtown Adventure Race Topeka. Her vast versatility extends to privately commissioned local business logos, short notice clip art and page layout for the award winning Washburn Review and Bod Magazine, and graphic assets for the local TV show Talk About Topeka. Her work has also been featured in juried shows at the Mulvane Art Museum.

In 2016, for the beginning of TPACs 25th Anniversary season, she won their public logo competition amongst all other entries and is excited to see all the new shows with her reward of season tickets.

When she's not working on graphic work she can be found exercising, sewing, foam armor crafting, playing Destiny, or catching up on her shows on Netflix.


Kristi Pankratz

Kristi Pankratz - Safe Streets

Cathing Up With Kristi

Kristi Pankratz is the Director of Safe Streets and Prevention Services at Prevention and Recovery Services (PARS) in Topeka. Safe Streets is dedicated to creating a healthier community by addressing crime through prevention education and citizen empowerment. Programs include Neighborhood Watch and National Night Out, among others. Kristi is an experienced public relations administrator who has served the Topeka community in public service roles for the past 15 years. She has a background in public safety, public health and prevention. Prior positions she has held include: spokesperson for the Topeka Police Department, Communications Director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Community Prevention Specialist for PARS. She is a Topeka native and graduate of Washburn Rural High School, Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS and Washburn University.



Anthony CayAnthony Cay

Owner: Total Fitness Body Zone

Organized Chaos VS Fitness Confusion

I’d like to say I fell into this business, but the reality is this business called me.
I worked at a local gym here in town as a personal trainer in 2011.
I really enjoyed the training aspect of my job and working with people. I just didn’t appreciate how the company mistreated their clients. The lack of listening of clients need and wants. I chose to provide a service that clientele would be able to benefit from physically and still be economically feasible. In August of 2011 Total Fitness Body was born.
The purpose of this company is to promote healthy lifestyles and provide fitness training and nutritional education to all age groups and all fitness levels including beginner, advanced, and or professional. Our focus is on safety first and always. Provide first class training and face to face customer service, the attention to these details have set this company apart from all the rest.

I am a current Sergeant and Combat Medic in the United States Army. I have been an EMT for 11 years and a Certified Personal trainer for 6yrs. I have played all physical sports and have received advanced training in all of them. Some of the sports would include football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, softball, track wrestling and Jiu-jitsu just to name a few.  

So while I will definitely kick your butt with a great workout, I will always keep your safety as my number one priority.  
Weight loss and strength conditioning
Post rehab transitional therapy
Body building
Sport Specific Athletic Training


Tricia Peterson


Tricia Peterson

Experience Restaurants with Tricia

Tricia Peterson is a Kansas native and Washburn University graduate who loves living in Topeka. At Washburn she studied Mass Media and from there began her local food review blog, Tasting Topeka. She grew up north of Topeka in the small town of Mayetta where she graduated from Royal Valley.  Now she owns a small catering company, 2 Chefs Catering and runs her blog from home. Tricia enjoys reading fiction, studying history, going to see live music and writing about food and entertainment.




Barbara Waterman Peters

Barbara Waterman-Peters

The View From my NOTO Studio

Local Artist, Owner: Studio 831 (NOTO)

Barbara Waterman-Peters Barbara Waterman-Peters, (BFA, Washburn University, MFA, Kansas State University, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Washburn University) whose award-winning work is in museum, corporate and private collections, is represented by several galleries. She was a founding member of the Collective Art Gallery (1987-2014) and is a charter member of Circle of 7.  She has shown regionally, nationally and internationally in over 250 solo, invitational and juried exhibitions.  
Waterman-Peters taught at Washburn and Kansas State Universities as well as Lassen Community College in California.  Currently, she writes about art and artists for TOPEKA, LAWRENCE and KANSAS! Magazines. She also writes an “Artist of the Month” online for TOPEKA Magazine.
She has received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Achievement from the State of Kansas and the Monroe Award from the Washburn University Alumni Association. In 2011 she was awarded the ARTY for Distinguished Visual Artist from ARTSConnect in Topeka.
For many years, Waterman-Peters has been the staff artist for the Andrew and Georgia Neese Gray Theater at Washburn University.
She served on the Quality of Life team for Heartland Visioning part of which then became the original NOTO Board.  In addition, she served as co-chair of the CREATe group, another facet of HV. In 2010 she became the first Core Artist in NOTO, founding STUDIO 831.



I will add my stars to the page, as I meet with them! Check back to see who will be helping make this newsletter come alive!

Kim's Excellent Adventures

Building A Business:  I know what I am missing. I am missing a big trust fund or a husband that makes all the money and I can just focus on helping make Topeka a better place. Since both of these are not in my future, I have to work many other jobs so this non paying one, gets my spare time! I hope to make this something that can actually have a value and not have to work so much!!

If you would like to support, here is how!

Share the link in emails and on social media   www.EverythingTopeka.Com

Add my logo and link to your website - You can contact me for a logo and link   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Financially support the website by donating or upgrading your listings/sponsoring.

All Star Team: If you did not take the time to read all their January submissions, you should! They blew their first one out of the water!!

All Star Team Banner

KIKU's New Years Day Lunch - This was the first time I was able to attend this awesome lunch! I met with old and made new friends! The meal was tasty but the company was the best!

New Years Lunch New years Lunch 2 New Years Lunch 3 New Years Lunch 4  New Years Lunch 5

Colonoscopy (Preventative health care): So when I turned 50, my doctor told me it was time to get a colonoscopy! I had one when I was 25 years old and I remember not wanting to do it again.  This time, it wasn't very bad.  I drink so much during the day, having to drink that much stuff wasn't that bad. I set up my lap top and just let it happen! Everything came back good.  Sorry, no pictures for this fun!        

Substitute Teaching: I am teaching 3 or 4 days a week. I love teaching but it does make me sad to see some of these kids struggle! I see their attitude and totally know that it comes from somewhere!

One of my assignments was to be a floater teacher at Scott Magnet for a morning. Who knew it would end up being such a great day! This job put me in many different classrooms for like 30 minutes so the teacher could go to a meeting. While in a first grade classroom, I noticed they had new headphones for their ipads.  I made a comment to the teacher and she informed me that they were not her headphones, she had to borrow them because her classroom only had 5 working pairs. After thinking about this I posted this on Facebook:

'Barely work!'
Kim Schultz's photo.
Kids are working on their Ipad. Most of the headphones no longer work so the teacher has to borrow working ones. There are 20 first graders that would love new headphones so they can work uninterrupted on their work. Picture of the worn out ones and then a picture of the ones they borrow. If your business would like to donate 20 new headphones, I know 20 first graders and a teacher who would greatly appreciate it! Let me know, if you would like to help!


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Within 15 minutes I had a private message and my friend Eric with Canada Drug, offered to buy the entire class new headphones.

An hour later, I had another classroom taken care of by my friend Kristina with Garnder Roofing.

Before I left to head to my next job, I went back to the room to let the teacher know she would be getting new headphones the next day! The look on her face was of shock.  The look on her face when I told her I was going to try to get her new headphones was more like, ok you crazy lady!

This one was so happy!

Then the following week, my friend Shelly Lowery-Smith contacted me and wanted to buy another class headphones! This made 63 pairs for three different classes! I have the best friends!


Brianna's Baby Shower: There is nothing that  makes you feel old than going to one of your daycare child's baby shower. I watched Brianna when she was 2 years old. Now she is about to have her own baby! Time flies way too fast!

Briana 1  Briana 2Briana 3


Margaritas with Christy: My friend Christy really like margaritas so we went to El Mezcal for dinner and drinks.  This was the Thursday before the "big Ice storm."  It was a great time. The people who sat next us (Both sets) were nice!

Christy Margaritas

Girls night out-  This was not your typical girls night out. This month we went to friend's essential oil party! I am sure they are really good, but my budget doesn't really allow for much extra spending! Maybe once my website starts making money, I can look more into the benefits of Essential oils!

Girls Night 1  Girls Night 2  Girls Night 3

Rogue One: I was supposed to go see this movie with Chelsea but she ended up going with Uncle Chris. I finally got to go in January with my friend Tom. We went to the Cinema Suits in KC to a late show! I really enjoyed the movie! I can't wait until the next one.

Rogue One

Time with Kolton: I did get in some time with Kolton. We had a great time playing the game, Guess Who!

Free Lunch at Field of Greens provided by the Cyrus Hotel: In December a fire at 913 S Kansas closed down both of our restaurants. Field of Greens has reopened but The Break Room is still a mess. The owners of, 913 Kansas are also the owners of the new Cyrus Hotel and they wanted to do something to help inform the community that Field of Greens is reopened so they came up with the idea of giving away 200 free lunches. These lunches included either the salad bar, soup and potato bar or a sandwich. Customers could also get a drink and one cookie! The doors opened at 11 am and by 12:15 we had served 200 customer but there was still a line so Chris contacted the Cyrus hotel owners and let them know that we had served 200 people already. They told us to go ahead and serve 300 or until 1pm. We ended up serving 300 very satisfied customers in two hours. This is a record for our restaurant! The customers were amazing.  We had regulars and new.  I stood outside and told people about the deal so many people, who had never been inside, got to experience our little family owned restaurant! Now we move on to trying to reopen The Break Room side. This is going to take a little of money.  If you would like to know more or maybe want to help please click here for the GoFundme page:

Free Lunch 1Free Lunch 2Free Lunch 3Free Lunch 4Free Lunch 5Free Lunch 6

Croco Dedication to our Dad - In 1974 our dad, Alan Schultz came up with a great idea to build a square dance hall. He was a square dance caller. They built a board of directors and the first hall was built. In 1986, someone decided to burn the hall down so hall number two was built. Then the state came in and purchased the building and land for the cloverleaf highway project. The third and final hall was built. On December 27th, the square dancers dedicated the new dance floor to our dad! It was a great night and he would be honored if he were still alive!

 Croco 1Croco 2Croco 3Croco 4Croco 5Croco 6


Advertise on Everything Topeka!


Catching up with Kristi

Kristi Pankratz

Krisit Pankratz

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv."

If you have no idea what I’m referencing, we can’t be friends. This is from only the best movie ever made, “The Princess Bride.”

If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you haven’t seen it recently, watch it. It’s got everything -- love, action, adventure, clever lines and a healthy dose of cynicism. Something this girl can definitely relate to. Well, and let’s face it, Cary Elwes is just freakin’ hot.

Something about the fairytale adage of love spun with dark humor makes it so relatable and enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a good romance but it’s not always reality. I mean, even Rhett Butler didn’t give a damn, Jack Dawson drowned and Casablanca’s time went by.

And, in today’s reality, it seems like there are more opportunities for craziness that make it a little harder to find or believe in that fairy tale. The horror stories about dating sites and apps on the news make you constantly on guard when it comes to dating and meeting new people. From scams and stalkers, to online and social media, to not being able to scroll quickly enough past photos of crazy looking guys taking bathroom selfies who can’t spell.

Yes, I’m that girl. If you can’t spell or use grammar somewhat correctly, you will be written off.

So, if you’re giving the online or social media dating world a try: first, God be with you. And second, here are a few things to help you stay safe while meeting and talking with folks (goes for girls and guys):

  • Trust your instincts.
  • Meet and stay in public.
  • Tell a friend where you will be & who you will be with.
  • Arrange a check-in call or text from a friend.
  • Drive yourself. Cannot emphasize this one enough.
  • Seriously, drive yourself.
  • Stay sober.
  • Avoid leaving your drink/food unattended.
  • Don’t share financial information online or in-person.
  • Don’t share personal information (phone number, contact info, etc.) until you feel safe.
  • Really, folks, trust your instincts. They’ve gotten you this far.
  • And, before you even agree to meet: ask questions. Check out sites like or to uncover any prior criminal records that you might want to know about.

And, if he has a picture with a cat in his profile – avoid. Not really a safety factor, just a completely judgmental one. J

Admittedly, I’m a cynic when it comes to dating, but a hopeful one. I like to believe in the goodness of people, but the realist in me knows that there are times and places to question. And I hope others do as well. So, I encourage you this month to take a step back from all the red and pink, glittery heart-shaped paraphernalia and look at how you interact with folks. Are there some things you need to do improve your overall safety? Then do it, you warthog-faced buffoon.

A line from “The Princess Bride,” I’m not really that mean. Most of the time.

Experience Restaurants With Tricia

Tricia Peterson


Dieting and Eating Out Isn’t Easy.

By Tricia Peterson


My new favorite spot in Topeka lately has been Quinton’s. Maybe it’s the fact that I have friends working there, or even that they have good food, but I think the big thing is the live music. The fact that you can go there on most nights and listen to live music while eating dinner or having drinks with friends is incredibly appealing to me. There aren’t many restaurants in Topeka that offer live music on a week night, and I’m not talking about karaoke.

Drink and food specials are available every night and there’s usually a featured burger every couple weeks, too. The menu has burgers, wraps and huge baked potatoes. My friends always seem to order the pretzels with nacho cheese, but my favorite is the chili cheese nachos. Both are great with a couple cocktails if you aren’t looking to eat an entire meal. The black angus burgers are a little more filling, though so there are more substantial options available.

A new special that’s starting is Spoken Not Slurred, Martini Mondays. The martinis will be $4 and there’s an entire list of special martinis available. I happened to be there one night when Konnor was messing with recipes and I got to try a few of them. My favorite was the Lemon Drop which has vodka, Triple Sec, lemon juice and simple syrup with a rim of sugar. It was sweet and lemony just like I like my lemonade. One that I was surprised by was the Pineapple Coconut Martini made with coconut rum, pineapple juice and grenadine. It’s layered so each drink tasted a little different than the last because the grenadine was at the bottom, it got sweeter with every sip.

I think the biggest draw for me is the live music. Thursdays there is usually acoustic music, which is usually my favorite. Over the weekend, though, it’s a little louder and the style ranges from punk rock to a guy on a violin.  To know what shows are coming up you just need to go like their Facebook page and look at their events. Or, you can always check the calendar on this website,


The View from My NOTO Studio

Barbara Waterman Peters


View from my Studio

By Barbara Waterman-Peters

Today I will look inward as wintry light pours through my window. Change has come to STUDIO 831 in the form of new artists and a revitalization of the space! New walls and redefinition of studio space footprints will provide a different, exciting look to our creative surroundings. Artists are interesting people in that they are resourceful and able to reinvent working areas with repurposed materials and a coat of paint! And they are also intriguing in that their comfort in a space depends on its energy and arrangement.

Inspiration, a tired and overused word, is a combination of many things, but its primary component is opportunity to allow great ideas to flow. A space of one’s own, surrounded by the tools needed to create wonderful art, is essential for an artist.

STUDIO 831 in its latest incarnation will certainly guarantee that. I look forward to revealing it on February 3 during the First Friday Art Walk!


Barbara February


Featured Artist at Studio 831 for February is Diane L. Lawrence

“Tornadoes and the Prairie”

          My interest in colors and movement, such as found in cloud formations, has led to a fascination with tornadoes and the prairie. Although a tornado can be a frightening storm the colors and form are intriguing and challenging. I am also drawn to the prairie’s vastness and seasonal transformations and I am humbled by the natural beauty.


Neighborhood News: REALTOR® Robin style

Robin BonsallRobin Bonsall


My family experienced a miscarriage on January 15th. It was a Sunday. We were maybe 10 to 12 weeks along. Originally, that would have been an open house weekend but we postponed as Topeka was expecting a terrible, icy storm that weekend. All the Facebook chatter was that people were planning to stay cozy at home anyway. That was our plan! We barely got any snow all weekend.
Crazy how things work out.

My husband and I found out we were pregnant a couple of weeks before Christmas. We decided to wait and surprise Caius, our 3 & a half year old son, with the news on Christmas Day. ???? We broke the news to him, his 2 Aunties and Grandmomo Christmas morning. It was absolutely precious and my husband got it all on video.
For the next few weeks, we thoroughly enjoyed deciphering questions our preschooler had about there being a baby in Mommy's belly. We learned that he was "OK with a baby sister but a little brother is better than a baby brother." He seemed to understand that he wasn't exactly a big brother yet...but he would be some day soon. Hopefully. We even explained the possibility of things "not working out" this time. Those conversations were also absolutely precious.

Then January 15th came and it was exhausting...uncomfortable...not physically painful, really...but in one, grossly simplified word: Draining.
On January 15th, for my little family, all hope of welcoming a second baby into the world (around the end of July) was literally draining from my body.
All day. Draining.

Physically draining. Mentally draining. Emotionally draining.

Caius asked about me being in bed all day. Was I sick? He asked about all the blood, after bursting into the bathroom unannounced, as 3 year olds often do. We cautiously explained that this baby didn't make it. We filtered through surprisingly meaningful questions and statements of preschooler wisdom over the next couple of weeks.
After January 15th, the conversations with our son were more somber yet priceless. Helping our preschooler understand this type of loss definitely helped us process our adult sadness.
Did you know 15-30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage within the first 12 weeks? It's possible that up to 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage before the woman even knows she's pregnant. These numbers were all over my brain for that first week, post-mortem. Different online baby/mama sites reflect slightly varied percentages but all were similar. is a great resource, obviously, and if miscarriage info is what you seek, it would be a great place to click. In just one paragraph, the explanation of emotional recovery encompassed everything my heart and mind were processing that day. Sadness. Anger. Confusion. Loneliness. And Guilt. Guilt still weighs heavily on my heart. Could I have done anything differently to prevent miscarriage? This being our 2nd child, things definitely felt different than our first pregnancy. From the start, something felt so different, that I worried more than I remember "worrying" with Caius. So, on January 15th, my thoughts kept going back to: Something felt "wrong" from the start...and a whirlwind of questions would follow. It was mentally exhausting and probably the most painful part of my grieving so far.Did I know something was physically "wrong"? Do I really KNOW my body that well? Or did I manifest this with all my worry? Did I worry too much...and did I cause this? Was my mind in the wrong place? Is that even possible? Because what we focus on expands, right?I try not to dwell so much on the worries these days. Some days are easier than others. I constantly remind myself that worrying is time wasted. But what about the physical concerns I experienced? I could not stop thinking about all of that... I feel pretty confident that as a mother and grown ass woman, I know my body better than I did when I was a newly wed; definitely better than I did when I was in college and/or high school. Yikes. Me as a 16 or 23 year old Mom....Horrifying. I barely new myself back then. My insecurities were running WILD! Whose aren't during that stage of adolescence? And that has become a huge part of my grieving.
If there really were physical signs that this pregnancy wasn't healthy...and if I am lucky enough to be aware of those signs, I should feel proud of that awareness, not guilty. Awareness comes with age, they say... And I'm working on that. ????So. The next day was January 16th. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We wake up and as expected, the world is still movin & shakin. And being that it's MLK Jr Day, everything which is honoring his legacy is on our minds today. Or at least it should be. It's on mine. And it shapes a new stage of grieving and processing.

Here I am, a 33 year old white woman. I graduated from high school and bought myself a fancy college degree. I married my life partner after 4 years of dating & engagement. Then, after 3+ years of marriage, we purposefully started a family together. I have a career that allows me flexibility of time so that my energy can be the predominant nurturing presence during my child's foundational years. Some days are easier than others but ultimately: I. Am. Blessed. I acknowledge that not every woman is as fortunate as me. My family is "cozy." Not all families are even close to "cozy." Not all are even close to "family."
So if not on MLK Jr Day, when?

What about all the women before me, around me, and those coming after me who will NEVER know the "cozy experience" I know? What does it feel like to be pregnant, not because you and your partner were trying to get pregnant but because someone else made that decision for you? And then to miscarry...How does a slave woman, raped by her owner, process pregnancy and a miscarriage?
How does a slave woman, raped by her owner and sent back to her husband, process pregnancy and then a miscarriage?
How does:
~ a woman, in an unhealthy domestic relationship, process pregnancy with an abusive partner?
~ a woman, assaulted while jogging, dragged into the woods, raped, left for dead and survives....process pregnancy and miscarriage?
~ a 15 year old girl, forced to marry a 45 year old man, process sex, pregnancy and miscarriage?
~ a college girl, rape or no rape, process an unexpected pregnancy then miscarriage?
~ a teenage girl, who learned that having babies means a guaranteed paycheck from the government, process pregnancy and then a miscarriage?Mostly, when a pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted, and especially when it's clear that the man who "did his part" will not be a healthy presence...What must that pregnancy and miscarriage feel like?
And how many times do those women think about abortion? Or adoption? When we were pregnant, I read the stories about Aleppo nurses committing suicide to avoid being raped by Syrian soldiers. More on that: can't even. Then, Facebook tells me that a super awesome and hard working friend of mine. A great husband and Daddy of 3. 32 years old. A Fantastic performer in our theatre community...had a heart attack. A heart attack at 32 years old! Apparently, he listened to his body and was already at the hospital before the actual attack occured. Great job, friend! A couple days later, he left with 3 stents. 3 stents! And he's back to work.
#myndblone. Life is so very fragile. So, Tuesday, January 17th, I gathered up my courage and stepped outside for the first time since the miscarriage started. Daily life has continued for everyone else around me. And much like any other day, there were several tasks that needed to be addressed. Miscarriage Bloodwork for one--still ongoing and apparently these expenses are not covered by our insurance plan. And, through a lovely twist of fate, REALTOR® related preparations for an event that was, at that point, still over a month away, fell perfectly into place. Eventually, we all go back to work, right? ❤It's been about a month since the miscarriage. Indeed, we are all back to work. I was also performing in one of our community theatre productions which closed this past weekend. THE OTHER PLACE by Sharr White is play about a mid 50's woman suffering from dementia. Her struggles center around a traumatic relationship with her daughter. While I was grieving in my personal life, this play centered around the loss of a child. My female co-star (who I learned lost a teenage child only a few years ago) recited this line-part of a very emotional monologue-to me, onstage, every night:
"...he is in such pain that he has transcended pain and is above himself watching himself experience his pain. Losing a child is like that."
Every night, I witnessed my co-star's interpretation in her eyes and felt it in her voice. This theatrical journey played a significant role in my grieving process. I feel so fortunate to have this art form in my life. I. Am. Blessed.THE OTHER PLACE closed just in time for me to redirect energy toward the aforementioned "REALTOR® related preparations." In February, I'm launching a new series of REALTOR® Robin events called Café CMA. (CMA stands for Current Market Analysis). These events will take place at different local Café/Bistros on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Stop by! Enjoy a fresh brewed coffee or hot tea (courtesy of REALTOR® Robin with Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair). Review subdivision CMAs and info on desireable neighborhood features surrounding each charming Café location. Note: R2B2 will be continuing into 2017 and is starting back up in March! For any REALTOR® Robin event, everyone is welcome.
????So! You Are Invited To: REALTOR® Robin's 1st every Café CMA!Where: Cara's Cup @ 5660 SW 29th St. It's at the 29th & Arrowhead stoplight.
When: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19th from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
Why: Meet some neighbors! ???? Enjoy complimentary java or hot tea! Learn more about "the market" in surrounding subdivisions. Feel free to ask questions only a REALTOR® should know. Then, enjoy the rest of your day.Naturally, I also encourage you to consider bringing extra funds and reviewing the Cara's Cup menu while you're there! They have delicious variations of yummy bistro favorites and they seem priced to sell. ???? I think my humour is still intact. Le sigh.We're all seeking something...right? Something beyond our current understanding of human life...and the possibility of an eternity beyond this physical universe...I don't pretend to know whose eternity is right. But there is definitely an eternity which understands me. I believe we understand each other and for that, I am grateful.My little family wasn't quite ready for a second babe. For whatever reason, it worked out that way this time. My husband reminded me that though we were "not NOT trying for baby #2," at the end of 2016, I was working up some pretty exciting career goals for 2017. Maybe my energy is focused where it should be, for now. I am grateful for all the personal experiences that help me recognize this while grieving.

Maybe a second child is in our future. I hope so ???? but maybe it's not. For today, my focus is where it should be:
1.) Sharing testimony about our miscarriage. Something that isn't talked about often. And,
2.) Purposefully and consistently nurturing my son, my marriage and my career so that possibilities of the future are infinite and abundant. This was a whole lot of words. Thank You for spending time with them and me today. It wasn't easy to write all of this...but it was a meaningful because, again: grieving. ❤Light & Love, Neighbors.
Robin M. Bonsall,
Mommy/REALTOR®/Actress of NEKS
w/ Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sports & Recreation



The Archery Club

598 SE 97th St, Wakarusa, KS 66546




Capital City Crushers

Capital City Crushers



Golden Giants



Topeka Train Robbers



Heartland Park

Heartland Park Topeka



Ravenwood Lodge

Ravenwood Lodge



 Sunflower State Games

Sunflower State Games


Topeka Roadrunners

Topeka Roadrunners Hockey


Washburn University



Organized Chaos VS Fitness Confusion

Anthony Cay


 Anthony Cay

Owner: Total Fitness Body Zone


The Title

So I know you’ve been wondering what’s up with the title. What are all the possibilities that this could mean.  For me Organized Chaos is what most of us go thru on a daily basis. We all start with a preconceived idea or plan of how things are supposed to go for the day. Somewhere in between the beginning the middle or the end. Our day turns into a complete antonym of what the original plan was. All of a sudden everything is about to take a bad turn.  Without any notice we are quickly ushered from highly organized to” Complete Chaos”.  Now its time to change the initial plan and go with an audible.  This makes our new goal simple, evade and survive.

Clearly I’m describing my life of raising kids all while trying to juggle a demanding career and maintain any meaningful relationship.  Nobody else out there can ever identify with this right?

The word “Fitness is a noun, the definition is the condition of being physically fit and healthy. This is such a simple definition for a very complex topic of discussion.  This is where the all “Confusion” begins and never ends. Now ask yourself what does “Fitness” mean to You?

This is Anthony “The Calorie Killa” Cay I’m the Owner Of Total Fitness Body Zone in Topeka Kansas.  I will help you answer that fitness question.

Now that I have your undivided attention, stay tuned for future videos, pictures and other helpful information and tools designed to help you succeed with obtaining your” Fitness Goals ”






Topeka City of Character

Topeka City of Character


Sponsored by Topeka Capital Journal

February – Hospitality

cheerfully sharing food, shelter and friendship with others


Topeka City of Character was founded in 2001 to serve the needs of our growing community. Over the years, character education has earned praise for its continuous improvement in student well being, with lower absences and discipline referrals. 

With the addition of we will take these years of experience out into communities across the state of Kansas.


Added:  Remember the fire in downtown Topeka?  Well the two young men who responded and bascially kept the block from burning, were recognized at the monthly meeting and given an award for their actions. 


Chris Award


"In a Flash" - By Annette Hope Billings

annette hope billings new



Annette Billings



Hello readers. In addition to poetry, I love writing fiction! Each month I will write a form of fiction, thusly named because of its brevity. Each story will have a Topeka connection. All characters and situations will be fictitious, but I'll include real Topeka locations. Enjoy and be generous with feedback!



Kim foraged in her pockets for change for the parking meter. Nothing. A search of the ashtray was next— three pennies. She made an annoyed sound and wondered if the scarcity of coins was an omen. A deep dive into the passenger seat cushion yielded a quarter and a lint-covered dime. The conversation from the night before looped in her head as she exited her car and dropped both coins in a meter.

Sairath had lamented, “I want to be with you. But I don’t think we can sustain the kind of relationship I have in mind.” She’d continued. “You live in this black and white—this—this—salt and pepper world, Babe. The world I live in has more,”—she’d searched for a word— “more spice!”


Kim, a prosecuting attorney, had wanted to present a suitable rebuttal, but before one formed, Sairath stood abruptly and reached for her coat.


“Kim,” Sairath said softening her voice, “here’s an example. I bought you a grinder for pepper at Christmas and you had no idea what it was. Our tastes are too different in far too many things. I need a relationship with more range than this. I need— cardamom.” With that, Sairath had donned her coat and left.

Cardamom?, Kim thought. In the context of the one-sided conversation, Kim was fairly certain cardamom was a spice. She was sure she’d warned Sairath she didn’t cook when they had begun dating.

“Why cardamom?, she’d wondered out loud in the empty apartment.

Kim hadn’t argued with Sairath the night before because she was correct. The majority of Kim’s life was dull. She walked the line of straight and narrow with boring precision. Her life was playing out like she dressed and ate— carefully and blandly. She was not a pinch- of- this- or a handful- of- that type of person. Hers was essentially a by-the-recipe life and, until she met Sairath, that had suited her well. What she realized in the quiet after Sairath’s departure was that she was in love with her. Kim had glanced at the nondescript salt and pepper shakers on her table. She had shaken her head and reached for her phone. She looked up area spice stores. A shop called “Moburts” was listed first. She recognized the name as a place she’d driven by many times en route to her bland job.

The following morning found her standing in front of the shop. She inhaled deeply, exhaled and opened the door. A bell announced her while unfamiliar, but pleasant, scents welcomed her.

From behind the counter, someone smiled. “Good morning! Welcome to Moburts.” Kim smiled back. “Is this your first time here?”

“Yes,” she answered, “ it is.” Words began to tumble out.  “I’m here on behalf of a friend. You see, this friend of mine,” Kim stopped, began again, “ this woman I’m dating, wants— needs cardamom in her life. I’m in love with her. I must be because, before her, the most daring thing I’ve ever cooked with is seasoned salt. I don’t want to lose her, so I’m willing to try cardamom. That’s crazy, right? Can you help me?”

“Well… yes, yes I can.” The storekeeper, still smiling, came from around the counter, “Let me show you what we have and we can talk about simple ways you use it.” Kim sighed.

Back at the apartment building, Sairath dropped the key Kim had given her into the mail slot.






       Mastery Moving      Damsel in Defense Cropped 3    Afflora White         practicebanner3


New Businesses

Huntoon & Gage
Ling's Cafe
New location
1570 SW Wanamaker Rd (North Corner)

Tequilla's Mexican Restaurant (New Location)

intersection of Highway 24 and Topeka Boulevard


Ts Remodeling New BusinessT's remodeling

Plumbing,elec,painting,drywall,flooring,decks,windows and doors no job too small commercial and residential specialist in rental properties





LaRocca's Pizza Express

5145 S Topeka 785-478-5692

Eat in, carry out and Delivery!



Josey Baking CoJosey Baking Company

3119 SW Huntoon St
Topeka, Kansas
(785) 408-1552

Josey Food 4

breakfast pastries, pies, cookies, cakes and more.






Boulevard Billards LogoBoulevard Billiards

4700 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, Kansas

(785) 230-0114



El Gallo Mexican Restaurant (former Las Fuentes)

3501 SW Topeka blvd
Topeka, Kansas

(785) 266-9420 

Glory Days Pizza

Glory Days Pizza North

Glory Day Pizza at Hunters Ridge is now open for business.
Open 7 days 11am-10pm
The new location is located at:
4745 NW Hunters Ridge Cir
Topeka, KS 66618
(NW 46th St and NW Hwy 75)
Dine-In, Carry Out, or Delivery.


This website is a prototype for an idea that I have been working on for ten years! It is continually changing and I hope to make this the main site for anyone that wants to find something in Topeka to use.

It is being built with those who live in Topeka and the surrounding area but not limited to them.

There are 4 sections to this website.

  1. The Topeka Newsletter is the first part.  It is going through some major overhaul since most of the information can now be found in a better organized manner on the website.  This is free for any locally owned business to use to promote their business.
  2. The Community Calendar is actually the most important part of this website, right now.  Each community should be informed on what is going on. This doesn't just mean the bar scene. When I say informed, I mean fundraisers, sports, daily food and drink specials, sales, entertainment, recreation and anything else going on.  This calendar tries to include anything that the public is invited to. There is no charge to include your events.  We enter all the events so it saves business owners time. They just need to send us the information and we will take it from there.
  3. Everything Topeka is a plethora of information compiled in a map based program.  Here you can search and find different venues in different categories. You can pick one or all categories to search. This search will not find information that is not on the map though so you will need to use the website search function also. It is free to be listed with a simple profile and an affordable way to enhance your listing.
  4. Everything Else is more businesses that are not listed in the Map feature. There is a guide page that actually will lead you in the right direction.  It is free to be listed with a simple profile and an affordable way to enhance your listing.


We have 2 different search bars.  We use a program called Hot Spot and it does not integrate with the rest of the website at this time.  So you will need to use both places if you can't find what you are looking for.  Search Articles option will search everything but the maps. It even includes the calendar.



Thanks for your support!

I am working very hard to try to find out all the great things going on in Topeka  If you know of any event that is open to the public please let me know!  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember event dates and times can change.  Check out their webiste or give them a call before making plans!

View this newsletter on

Please spread the word or forward this email to anyone you believe would be interested in know what is going on in Topeka.  Thanks

Always Keeping You Connected,


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Business Profile

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Enhanced listing packages will be available soon. Stay tuned!