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2017 - March

ttn logoMarch, 2017: Welcome to my latest adventure!

Kim Schultz

For three months, my life is pretty much just work! I never complain because I actually enjoy this time! So many people take their jobs for granted but I don't. I like being able to help people regardless of what they need! So March looks to be very busy! I am loving every minute of it!! Living in Topeka, my life is never boring! I can always find trouble to get into!

Experience Restaurants With Tricia

Tricia Peterson


By Tricia Peterson


Up until recently I’ve been dieting and it’s made my ventures out to restaurants difficult, to say the least. So when a new bakery opened up right down the street from my house I got excited but then bummed immediately when I realized I had to wait to try it out. It was worth the wait.

Josey Baking Co. opened in the Westboro Shopping Center a few months ago and all I’ve heard are good things. The Topeka Restaurant Group on Facebook always has someone posting their experience and I’ve never seen a bad one. Sometimes items run out, but that’s the nature of a bakery and from what I saw when I was there the staff works hard and fast to replenish any missing items. To me it just shows the items are popular and they can’t keep them stocked because as soon as they sit the pastry down, it’s already bought.

The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming smell of freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh the bread! The items available ranges from sweet and savory kolaches, cinnamon rolls, cookies, croissants and much more. The lady working said they've been busy and even as the baker was bringing out fresh kolaches, people were ordering them just as fast because it was lunch time.

Before ordering I looked at everything that was to offer, and although it was lunch time, there was still a nice variety. As an advocate for locally sourced foods, I noticed Josey Baking Co. sells Hildebrand milk and uses the cream for coffee, too. On the Facebook page I learned the bakery also offers strawberry, chocolate, 2% or the mocha-chocolate milk at retail prices. Hildebrand milk comes in a glass bottle, though, so be prepared to pay the bottle deposit. Of course you get that money back when you return, or just get a new one without repaying that deposit fee. It’s simple. I have five bottles laying around on any given day because I forget them but it’s always nice when you remember and end up with an extra $10.

Joeys 1      Joeys 2     Joeys 4   Joeys 5  


Joeys 3

I ordered the Monte Cristo kolache and a cup of the tomato basil soup. I didn't want to go too crazy on the bread but I do wish I could have tried the bierock or even the BBQ pulled pork kolache. Everything available sounded tasty but I couldn't get it all. Even all the sweets looked amazing, I just can't eat all that or it will make my stomach upset anymore, so I passed. Everything I've heard about the cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats has been positive, though.

The Monte Cristo kolache was sprinkled with powdered sugar and stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese. Served on the size was a little cup of jalapeno raspberry jelly that had a nice kick to it because there's little chunks of jalapenos throughout it. The bread was soft and fluffy but nice and crusty on the bottom, not soggy. I loved it, and the jelly had just enough spiciness that it wasn't overpowering and went smoothly with the powdered sugar and Swiss cheese.


Joeys 6

The tomato soup was chunky and seasoned just right. I love it when there are chunks of tomato and not completely smooth. I love texture.



My only complaint is that my schedule doesn’t mesh well with theirs and most of the time I have driven by, they are closed. But, it’s a small, locally owned business and a bakery. Usually bakeries close after noon, but at least these guys stay open until 5 p.m. most days except Saturday when they close at noon.

I’m excited to return and try the other pastries, but slowly, so it’s going to take awhile because there are so many varieties to choose from. I hear the cinnamon rolls are amazing and they’re huge. 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


Massage - What a better way to start a month then with an amazing massage from Suzi! If you don't get massages, you should really think about doing it!

Cards Against Humanity Fundraiser: Our friend Jesyca organized a very fun evening playing Cards Against Humanity at Juli's Cafe in Downtown Topeka. Friends gathered together to help raise money to remodel The Break Room and make it cooler! I won the first chance to pick a prize and I picked Sally Glassman's basket of smoked cheese and salsas! YUM!!


Cards 1        Cards 5       Cards 6Card 2        Card 3

Karlita's Birthday Bash: I was thrilled to be invited to Karlita's birthday party at her house! There were so many people there! She transformed her gym area into a concert venue and had Chance Encounter at the guest band! I planned on just dropping by and saying hi, but ended up staying a few hours! I love how others have fun celebrating their birthday!  

Karlita 1     Karlita 2Karlita 3      Karlita 4Karlita 5

JJ's new car: Due to an accident that totaled her car, JJ had to find a new one. Our friend Chris Soper works at a dealership in Lawrence so we figured, we would give him her business. I was going along to make sure she didn't over spend and stayed within her budget. We all know how car shopping can go. I was given a job and I was successful.  JJ found a car within her budget and loves it. We did find the time to grab lunch and a pretty red and blue margarita.

Patriot Day.. The Movie My friend Mike recommended that I see this movie. So after car shopping, Tom and I went to Fork and Screen in Olathe and Mike was correct, I really liked this movie. I was a bit apprehensive because I normally don't like movies about real bad people but this movie focused more on the people who were affected. It was still sad and knowing it was real, made it even more sad.  I liked the way they used the real video footage in the movie!

Hanging with Joey and Sally-  So after a day of car shopping and a movie with Tom, my night was not over. I took my lap top to my friend Joey's and showed him my website and hoped he would be willing to help me figure out how I can make my site profitable so I can continue to provide the service to the residence of Topeka! We then all went downtown KC and rode on the new troll that is free! We ended up at a bar called, The County Club for a couple drinks and then we walked back to his apartment. Since it was so late, I just crashed in his spare bedroom and drove home in the morning! I also go to meet my new friend Sally. She moved her to work with Joey from Seattle. She is awesome!

La La Land the Movie: I have always loved movies. I really enjoy kid movies and musicals. Chelsea and I went to a late showing of La La Land. Due to her new work schedule she sleeps during the day!

Kansas City Theatre Bus Trip - Phantom of the Opera: I started working on this trip over a year ago. We ended up with 59 people. These trips are always fun. I love having new people and seeing the regulars. Our seats were ridiculously awesome! The show was spectacular. After the show we once again went to The Legends for dinner. My mom and I went to a few places that long waits so we ended up at Five Guys and then walked around in the unseasonably warm February weather! I am going to try to schedule a trip to the New Theatre in Kansas City this winter. Our next big show is Lion King, May 2018. I also put our name on the list to get Hamilton Tickets for 2019!

Phantom 1  Phantom 2   Phantom 3Phantom 4    Phantom 5Phantom 6

VFW 25th Anniversary of Dessert Storm - I was invited to attend this event. I was sort of sad for the low attendance but the presentations were awesome! I hope to add a section to the newsletter soon that will interview men and women who have fought in foreign countries! We also were served a very delicious lunch!

VFW Desert Storm

Bowling with Kolton - Kolton's dad invited me to tag along with his girlfriend and her daughter to go bowling. I was happy to go hang out with them and spend some time with my life dude! So funny story, Kolton thought he could bowl without bumpers. So before we took them off, I told him that he was not allowed to cry or throw a fit when his ball when into the gutter and he would get no pins. I told him, if he did, we were done. He agreed and after the next turn, I noticed that he had bumpers again. I asked him if he had put back the bumpers and he replied, Yes, I decided that I couldn't handle it and needed bumpers. This kid is so smart. We need to make sure that kids understand the consequences and that throwing fits is not acceptable. That way they are in control and will hopefully make better decisions.

Bowling 1       Bowling 2

AWE Meeting - I was asked to speak at the AWE meeting in February. I spent an hour talking about my website. It was nice meeting so many professional women. We met at AJ's Pizza and they provided lunch! It was bring a guest day! If you are woman business owner, you should really check out this group!

AWE 1  AWE 2


Advertise on Everything Topeka!


Catching up with Kristi

Kristi Pankratz

Krisit Pankratz

I’m in the mood for a thunderstorm. One of those wake-you-from-a-dead-sleep, hit-your-knees kind of storms that lights up your house and shakes the walls. All the chaos and power combining into one beautiful showcase of lightning and rolling thunder makes this Kansas girl grin from ear-to-ear.  

There’s something oddly relaxing and centering to me about a storm. For whatever reason, a storm feels like home. But, then I guess I’m not exactly a normal person; I blame the red hair.

I’ve always loved the phrase “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” from the standpoint that it not only means storms are here, but also signifies the beginnings of spring – new growth, new opportunities, more daylight, warmer weather, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about these last couple weeks of February. 70s, really?! One of the reasons I do love Kansas!

From St. Patrick’s Day to Spring Break to March Madness, there’s definitely a lot going on this month. And, with any changes to the norm, more opportunities arise – more opportunities for fun, enjoyment, meeting new folks, but also more opportunities to become a victim.

I want to make sure you have a great month, so here are a few things you can do to stay safe while enjoying the beginnings of Spring:  

Spring Break Tips

  • Keep travel plans off social media.
  • Hold mail via
  • Holy your newspaper delivery or ask a neighbor to pick up for you.
  • Plan in advance. Know your destination and plan routes. Remember, some areas may not have strong WiFi, so sole reliance on cell phone apps is not recommended. Consider purchasing a map (they still make those, right?).
  • If consuming alcohol, be responsible. Know the liquor laws of your destination.
  • Don’t leave drinks or food unattended.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings at all times. If something seems off, trust your instincts and leave the situation.

And, of course, we can’t forget weather safety.

Severe Weather Tips

  • Purchase a weather alert radio if you don't already have one.
  • Turn to broadcast radio or television for critical details and follow-up information.

•   Store an emergency kit in a designated safe location. Include 72 hours worth of food and water as well as any medicines you’ll need. Also include pet food and any items your pets will need.

•   Make a family communications plan.

I’ve been blessed to have seen some incredibly beautiful places in this world. But, there’s nothing quite like watching a Kansas storm roll in during March. Have a wonderful March, everyone!


Neighborhood News: REALTOR® Robin style

Robin BonsallRobin Bonsall


Kansas is reaping none of the economic rewards of our neighboring states. 

One mid-February morning, while my husband and I were listening to NPR, a story by Harvest Public Media came on. It was quick and struck a cord within my Kansan heart. Land values in our Midwest community are in a slump. We've seen a 14% decrease in land value since 2014. There's a chance those values continue to decline over the next year or few…

As a REALTOR®, this got me thinking: Obviously, there are solutions. Kansas is an Ag state. A large portion of our worth is inspired by our Farmers. Thank you. What agricultural opportunities are our Farmers missing out on? How can improving our agricultural position improve our state's financial and economic picture overall? 

Then I thought about our neighbors. How does Kansas keep up with the Jones?

Some states are experiencing unprecedented economic success with the Medicinal variety known as Marijuana. Those states are also dabbling in the more versatile "cousin" known as Hemp. Industrial Hemp to be more specific.

A majority of Kansans seem to be opposed to Marijuana. (I know you say seem – but I think you could find a number. KSNT just did a poll on FB a few weeks ago. Might help argument. Not necessary) Fine. But what about Industrial Hemp? Hemp and Marijuana serve VASTLY different purposes. And to me, an exciting detail is that Hemp is extremely versatile and still underrated in the United States. 

(For basic Hemp knowledge click here) <--Kim, can you insert this link please?

Can Industrial Hemp do for our Kansas economy what Medicinal Marijuana is doing for Colorado? 
What if...
I'm learning that educating the public and local law enforcement is our crucial first step. 
What is the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?  
There is a big difference. Did you click the link above?  
The main difference is: smoking Hemp results in a head Ache not a head Buzz.  
So, even if an unsmart person steals hemp from a farmer's field, they won't do it again. The effects of smoking Hemp are undesirable because the THC level is .3%. Not that I necessarily know the difference but the desired THC levels in Marijuana are at least 10% and up to 25%. 
Industrial Hemp is not Marijuana. They are cousins who serve vastly different purposes.
Imagine if Hemp became a legal crop option for Kansas farmers. What if farmers started rotating it in with the wheat and corn and soy? And what if growing Hemp dramatically improved our agricultural industry?
"I think a plant that can be grown organically, has low water requirements, is pest resistant, can't be used as a drug, has the potential to be the cornerstone of America's bioeconomy and can be used in over 25,000 products should be outlawed."
~Said no famous person ever (from the book Hemponomics by Scott Sondles.)
"Make the most of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere!" George Washington, a note to the gardener, Mount Vernon, 1794.
What do we have to lose?
What if Kansas gets to be at the helm of cultivating quality hemp crops in the United States? 
What if that improves industrial opportunities within some of our stagnant communities?  We could produce seeds, fibers, oils, textiles, plastics and more.
More jobs? Better jobs? New skills? Unique skills? 
We'd be creating important opportunities for community growth. And when a community thrives, home values rise. :)
So naturally, my REALTOR® heart wants to believe that as our Kansas soil gets healthier, communities will get healthier, our education system will only get better, and our land & homes values will begin to reflect all our hard work. 
So naturally, my REALTOR® self enrolled in a 101-Listing/Selling Land course and I plan to work toward accreditation within the next few years....
If you'd like to talk shop about buying land and/or real estate in general or if you'd like to chat more about Industrial Hemp, I'm always up for quality conversation. :)   If you have a specific real estate quandary you'd like me to address in a future blog, feel free to reach out to me or to Kim Schultz.
To join your fellow community members who receive my occasional blog musings, click here.  Simply share with me Your Name, Email Address and a message about why you love your community.  
My next Cafe CMA (Current Market Analysis) is the 3rd Sunday in March!
WHEN: March 19th   11:30am to 1:30pm
WHERE: Cara's Cup at 29th & Arrowhead Rd 
WHY:  Meet neighbors, learn about home values in the area, meet a neighborhood code enforcer and learn what things he looks for and types of complaint calls he gets.  And remember, your coffee or hot tea is always on me.
Finally, if I may offer a call to action:
Should the opportunity arise to ask someone, "Do you know the difference between Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Marijuana?" Take it. This question usually leads to enlightening conversations; especially since you now know the difference [Hemp can make in our beautiful Ag state].
Be well, Kansans.
Robin M. Bonsall
Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance

Desmond Henry


A Financially Fit Life Offers Real Abundance




 Desmond Section

Don't Make These 6 Common Tax Mistakes

Odds are you’re getting ready to get your taxes done. And while everybody makes mistakes, doing so on your tax return isn’t the time to make them. We’ve compiled a list of the most common tax mistakes and how to avoid them.


1. Missing the Deadline

The IRS estimates that 20% of taxpayers wait until the week before the deadline to file their income tax returns. #Procrastinators 

The problem with waiting until the last minute is if you run into issues completing your forms. Of course, you can always file for an extension (which will give you 6 months or until mid-October). Keep in mind that even if you file an extension, you still must pay any taxes owed by the deadline. If you forget to so, the IRS will charge you interest.

However, procrastinators…I have great news for you again this year. April 15th falls on a Saturday, and because Emancipation Day is celebrated by the IRS on Monday, April 17th, it pushes your due date to April 18th, 2017.

2. Filing the Wrong Status

When it comes to filing your taxes, the IRS gives you five options: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er).

Make sure you choose the right one that fits your personal situation because it could make a big difference in your ultimate tax bill. That’s because the IRS applies different income tax rates and awards different standard deductions accordingly.


3. Math Errors

The most common error on tax returns, year after year, is bad math. In 2014, the IRS reported that it caught 2.3 million math errors on 1.7 million tax returns in 2014.

This is not surprising given the notoriously tricky formulas on tax forms i.e. “Add line 8 to line 32 and multiply by .356 if your AGI is greater than $50,000.” If you’re a DIYer, save yourself the headache and use tax preparation software that does the calculations for you. One of my favorites is TaxAct.

When IRS examiners find a discrepancy, they'll let you know and, in many cases, will correct your mistake and refigure your taxes for you. Don't give them the chance. Make sure your math entries are right.

4. Charitable Contributions: Follow the Rules

When it comes to donating to charity, make sure you follow the rules…and there’s lots of them. First off, verify that you’re giving to a qualified 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, the IRS provides a helpful tool to do so.

If your donation is under $250, the IRS will accept a cancelled check, bank statement, or receipt from the charity as documentation. However, if your donation is over $250, you’ll need written acknowledgment from the charity with specific details that can be found on the IRS website.

Be careful that you aren’t exaggerating the fair market value on donated clothing and household items. Keep in mind that tax law requires these items to be in good or better condition or the deduction is disallowed.

5. Misunderstanding the Stock Transactional Wash Sale Rule

So, you bought a few shares of your favorite stock, and then you decide to sell it at a loss. Typically, you can deduct that loss against any other capital gains you made that year to lower your tax liability. But if you decided to buy more shares of that same stock 30 days after selling (or 30 days before selling), then the first sale is disregarded. It’s like you never sold the stock in the first place, and you won’t get the tax benefit. Working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (hey, that’s me) or your CPA can help provide guidance and prevent these issues.

6. Missing Out on Tax Breaks

While the IRS isn’t famous for its generosity, there’s several tax credits available. Tax credits for families such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, & Child and Dependent Care Credit can save you a significant chunk of money. For students, there’s the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Take the time to calculate your itemized deductions vs the standard deduction. Don’t just assume that because you don’t own a home or if it’s paid off that going with the standard deduction is the best option. There’s numerous deductions available.

For more personal finance tips like these delivered straight to your inbox, sign up HERE…It’s FREE & don’t worry, we hate junk mail too! If you liked this article, you might also enjoy "The 2017 IRS Dirty Dozen List of Tax Scams"


About the Author:

Desmond Henry is a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner & founder of Afflora Financial Life Planning in Topeka, Kansas that specializes in working with independent women, millennial HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet), & the retiring/retired to improve their financial lives.

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’.


The View from My NOTO Studio

Barbara Waterman Peters


View from my Studio

By Barbara Waterman-Peters

Spring is close by, but winter isn’t done with us yet! Looking out my window I watch people walk by huddled against the cold and wind. In contrast, our recent mild weather has shown me sidewalks filled with passers-by enjoying the warmth and gentle breeze, smiling and chatting.

People- watching is a fascinating pastime. I do it because I frequently include human figures in my work, particularly interacting with each other.

As an artist, I communicate ideas. All creatives do that whether they are writers, dancers, actors, vocalists, musicians, designers, architects or visual artists. These ideas show us who we are and ideally point a way to a better state of being. That is not to say we have answers others don’t, but it is to say we provoke thought and evoke emotion. I utilize the human figure itself to do these things.

The folks who stroll by my window in all weathers and circumstances are helping me in my painting practice and I am grateful.


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.


"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!



Gail sat on a downtown bench while she dispassionately finished what was left of her lunch. She decided her last fork full of lettuce had surely put her over the recommended lifetime intake of all things green. Her phone vibrated as she tossed food wrappers in a nearby trash receptacle. It was her doctor’s office calling. She let it go to voicemail. It was the second call of the day from them. She wasn’t ready to speak with them. It wasn’t that she thought they’d give  biopsy results to her over the phone. She wasn’t even ready to to take a call to make an appointment to hear the results. She could call them back when she returned to her office or leave early and call them from home. No one besides her health care providers knew about the massdiscovered on a mammogram several weeks prior. She had known she was BRACA positive for two years and there was no sense worrying everyone about the lump if it was nothing.

“Mind if I sit here?” She looked up from her phone to see man standing a few feet away eyeing the space on the bench beside her. She glanced around to see there was another empty bench nearby. She kept her face neutral but did an internal roll of her eyes in the moments before she answered.

He was disheveled with a large backpack and two smaller bags slug over his shoulder. She wanted to say "No" to him but her Midwest manners overruled that.

“Sure,” she said, scooting closer to her edge of the bench and ever so subtlety tightening the hold on her purse. She angled her body away from him so she didnt appear to want to talk

He grinned, “Thank you.” He sat down with a pronounced groan and put his bags on the sidewalk in front of him.

“Sorry for being so noisy. It’s my knees. He began to rub them both. “They are both running close to E as far as cartilage goes.”  He leaned against the back of the bench and slowly straightened his legs.

Gail nodded and made what she hoped was a sympathetic-sounding grunt. She wasn’t certain how to respond, but didn’t want to give him the idea she wanted to engage with him in any way.

Undaunted, he continued, “My name is Luke. I’m a poet –and now you know it.” He laughed at himself.

She manage a tight smile and, “That’s nice.”

Her plan was to stay there for only long enoughfor him not to assume she was leaving because of him. It was almost time for her to get back to work anyway. She began to countdown in her head. From the looks of him she had assumed he would smell. He did have an odor, but it was not a bad one. He smelled like travel.

She forced a semi-smile as he continued to chuckle heartily. He laughed easily and Gee quickly deduced he liked to talk too. He began a monologue explaining to her he was a “troubadour slash poet.” He followed by naming all the places he’d been with his poetry.

“I even did a readingin a jail cell once in Tempe, Arizona— after I was arrested for loitering. The authorities there clearly couldn’t tell the difference between loitering and spoken word.” He chortled and continued his one-sided conversation while Gail nodded  intermittently. She liked his voice and imagined she might even enjoy listening to his poetry under different circumstances. But her current circumstances called for all her attention to focus on the tender, sutured incision on her left breast. He droned on for several minutes. 

She listened while he told of open mics in coffeeshops, on street corners, in taverns. Mostly busking, he explained --reading for donations. He'd had a dog, Toby, up until threemonths ago when the “old rascal finally gave up the ghost.”

He looked down at his shoes when he said, “Losing him was like losing a member of my family, Man

Out of the corner of her eye Gail saw him drop his head. He looked away and became quiet.

She was just about to leave when her phone vibrated again. She looked at the screen and tensed.

The man noticed the quiet buzz of her phone too. He rose and hoisted his bags back on his shoulder.

“Thanks for letting me ramble on, Ma’am.” He began to walk away before she could respond. After a few steps, he slowed and turned back towards her.

“Go ahead and answer your phone,” he said. “Your tumor, it’s my favorite Bingo call, it's B-9.”

Startled, she looked at his departing back and stuttered, “Wait, how do you—“ But he kept walking away, gaining speed, as fast as his remaining cartilage allowed.



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



Topeka City of Character

Topeka City of Character


Sponsored by Topeka Capital Journal


March – Perseverance pushing through difficulties, even if it means
unexpected sacrifice





Cutting the cord to Cable/Satelite TV Part 1

I can remember back in the 80's when cable finally reached our house! I was so excited to have more than 5 channels! Now I am excited about not having cable.  Getting here was not easy though.

2015, I started thinking about getting rid of some of my cable channels. I called Cox and realized that they have quite the racket going on. I was put in a bundle package.  What is a bundle package? Well it is a marketing tool that cons a consumer into thinking they are getting a great deal. It hooks you in to buying services or channels you don't really need to save money. We all know that you aren't saving anything. Oh, they show a big credit but they just mark up the price and then treat their customers like complete idiots. I have to have a home phone and high speed internet for work so I can't cut it off completely. During 2015, I talked A LOT about how I needed to just get rid of cable. I had a good job so the extra $120 a month didn't seem to impossible. Then in 2016, I left that job and went back to not making less money.  In January 2016, I contacted Cox and told them that I wanted to cut my cable off. They were going to cut it off on the bill date which was in 3 weeks. This would give me time to purchase more antennas and Rokus. A few hours after I got off the phone, my cable was shut off. I had just spent 2 hours on the phone making arrangements and Cox wasn't even able to follow their own instructions. I had a party that evening and figured I probably would need television so back on the phone I went to get it turned back on. It only took another hour for them to reconnect my cable but then they said, I had to call back the next day to cancel it again. Just to make sure the people who shut me off wouldn't screw up again.

Well as you can tell, I never called back because I just got busy and was still too use to having cable. By October 2016, I started to stop watching cable and use my Roku more or my smart TV. I really enjoy older show so I can find them on Netflix or the internet. I can use my Chrome cast on any of my TVs to stream movies from my lap top!

I got serious in February of 2017. I started disconnecting the cable boxes from the TVs so it wasn't available for me to use. I was sort of surprised how easy it was to just use the antenna or Roku. There are so many channels on a Roku!  The antenna gives me access to most of the local channels.

So how do you start to cut your cable costs.

First:, if you are a sports fanatic, there currently isn't a free solution for you to view most sports at home. This actually is another way of keeping you connected to your cable or other paid option. I believe this will change in the future.

Second: Having cable, you are being told what you can and can not watch. This isn't always a bad thing for those who have a hard time making decisions. Not having a cable, leaves you 100% responsible in finding something you want to watch. The list of movies, tv shows, and documentaries is endless depending on which way you go. Learning how to search and find shows can take some time, energy and work on your part.

Some people just use an antenna. This is a good option for some. I am struggling with getting channels on my tv so I am still working on finding a better antenna option.

If you currently have cable here are the first steps.

Make a list of all the shows and every channel you watch for two weeks. You will be suprised at how few channels you actually watch.

After two weeks, purchase a Roku for your TV and disconnect the cable box. See which channels you can get on the Roku for free.

Most paid options give you a FREE week so you might want to check those out.

The most talked about paid option is Here you can get a limited number of channels for less than $25/month. They have sport options but I was told that they black out the Royals games. I have not confirmed that yet!

So to wrap it up! First you must be ready to take control of your TV choices! Next, make a list of all the shows and channels you watch for two weeks. Then, get a Roku for one of your TVs and try to just use the options on there, to watch TV. Many paid options come with a FREE week. You might want to give that a try.

Until next month! Good Luck!


New Businesses

Panda Kitchen - Now Open

5826 S.W. 21st St

Midwest Float

Midwest Float

2120 SW Brandywine Ln
Suite 110
Topeka, KS 66614



New Coffee Shop

714 Gage, Topeka, KS


The Healthcare Resort

6300 SW 6th Ave.

Topeka, KS 66615


The Healthcare Resort of Topeka is changing the way that healthcare is being delivered to the Topeka Metropolitan Area. With the fusion of world-class healthcare and personalized hospitality, you encounter an experience that is truly unique and memorable.


Josey Baking CoJosey Baking Company

Check out Tricia's review

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

Josey Food 4

breakfast pastries, pies, cookies, cakes and more.





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.

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!



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!

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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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Enhanced listing packages will be available soon. Stay tuned!