Top 10 Gems Of Lawrence, KS

Top 10 Gems Of Lawrence, KS

It's time for the hometown round up!
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Lawrence, KS is my hometown- my happy place. It's been the place I've called home my whole life. I've got to tell you- there's something magical about spending your college years in your hometown. You see everything from a different perspective. I have so many special places, filled with a lifetime worth of memories. This is my hometown round up- the top spots in Jayhawk Territory!

1. The Burger Stand

Hands down the best restaurant in all of Lawrence! This is the place I go when I have something to celebrate- whether it be a birthday or the end of finals week. Their truffle fries with the garlic parmesan aioli sauce are out of this world!

2. Wells Overlook

This is a bit of a drive, because it sits south of town, out in the country. The drive is worth it though, because you end up in the middle of nowhere, at a three story high deck, with an amazing view of Lawrence. I love going as the seasons change, so that I can see the different views. The top level is filled with sharpie quotes, initials, and dates. Take a pen and leave a mark of your own! Pro tip: Never go after dark. This place can get real sketchy.

3. Clinton Lake

One of Lawrence's most underrated, but magical places. If you're a Lawrence native, then you probably spent your summers here. No matter your age, the lake is still fun! All of my favorite hiking trails are up there, and I love discovering new paths. Drive out in the evening and park on the dam to watch the sunset, take a picnic to one of the "beaches" or take your dog for a hike at one of the many paths!

6. Rock Chalk Park

A short 10 minute drive from Clinton Lake, Rock Chalk Park sits on the north end of town, and is the perfect spot for your indoor or outdoor activities. Free to all Douglas County residents, this is also home to the Sports Pavilion. The gym, indoor track, basketball courts, and tennis courts are all yours to use! Rock Chalk Park holds three beautifully scenic trails, that go into the woods behind the Sports Pavilion. Prepare yourself for hills, wildlife, and some tight calf muscles. This is my other favorite Lawrence hiking spot, and I've watched many sunrises there on Saturday mornings.

7. La Prima Tazza

Lawrence loves its coffee shops, so picking a favorite is always hard for a coffee lover like me. While I'm a self-proclaimed Starbucks girl, I love La Prima Tazza, because it is everything that a small town coffee shop should be. Order the iced Grasshopper just one time, and I promise you'll fall in love. Or try a Marshmallow Cloud latte, and relish the foamy goodness. Perfect for those Instagram photos, studying, people watching, and chatting with friends.

8. Sylas & Maddie's

You simply can't beat old time ice cream shops. Sylas & Maddie's has been around since I was a baby, and very little has changed throughout the years. On the weekends there's usually a line out the door, because Lawrencians know that Sylas & Maddie's is where you get the good stuff. Head down to Mass St. and order a triple scoop of Maddy's Mud on a waffle cone. All of your sugar cravings will cease to exist after that first bite.

9. Mass St.

Anything and everything happens on Mass St. in Lawrence! The best boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, street performers, and bands are all downtown. Stop in for pancakes at Milton's, go shopping at KB+Co, and pick up pastries at Wheatfields. Eat amazing Indian food at Bay Leaf, make a custom tee shirt at Acme, and take a stroll in South Park. Whatever your mood, Mass St. has everything. It's Midwest style fun!

10. The Merc

My second home for the last sixteen years! Founded in 1974 by a passionate group of foodies, this health food store + deli is one of Lawrence's greatest pride and joys. I started going to the Merc with my mom when I was a little girl, and I've continued to go there on my own in my college years. Last semester my family would meet up in their deli every Friday night to eat, and it just further confirmed that The Merc is one of my happy places. I'm obsessed with their veggie sushi rolls and the spicy tuna rolls from their deli. I also LOVE their cashew queso! It's insanely delicious. They have a huge kombucha and pressed juice section, which makes this girl very happy! The people, the atmosphere, the products, the deli, and the bakery make it an all around perfect place. You can do your grocery shopping, get smoothies, cookies, and dinner, all in one place!

What are your favorite Lawrence spots?

Cover Image Credit: Emalee Fox

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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5 Things You Need To Know About Thinx Underwear

Those of you with a uterus, listen up.

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I first heard about Thinx underwear two years ago while on a subway in Washington DC. I thought the whole idea of leakproof underwear sounded a bit too much like diapers and brushed the product aside. Fast forward two years, my mom states that she is going to buy a pair to try and offered to get me one too. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure glad I did!

If you're not familiar with Thinx allow me to explain. It's a company that prides themselves on creating underwear specifically designed for individuals to wear during their periods. Looking at the reviews, everyone seemed to love them, and after trying them out for myself, I must say I like them quite a lot. Here are a few important things to know about Thinx underwear.

1. It doesn’t always replace your pads/tampons

Thinx may not replace tampons, but it can help cut back the amount you use.

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I learned this the hard way that if you have a heavy flow, you can't wear Thinx on its own. If you have a light flow, you could get away with only wearing these, but for us poor souls with heavy flows, I recommend making these your new period underwear. You never have to worry about any leaks, even at night!

2. They don't stain

Behold! No bloodstains!

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If you leak onto this underwear, fear not. Merely rinse them in the sink and then throw them in the wash like normal and boom! Clean underwear. No more ugly stained underwear to keep in the corner of your drawer.

3. There’s a bunch of cute designs/colors

There's something for everyone!

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One thing I must say about Thinx is that they have a wide variety of options. There are several different cuts, and almost all of them come in different colors options as well. They seem to be introducing new colors all the time, so keep an eye out for one you like.

4. They are super comfy!

These feel just like normal underwear.

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When I got my pair, I was worried that this underwear would feel like wearing a diaper or something else uncomfortable, but that was not the case at all! This underwear when you're wearing it feels like normal underwear, and while you're washing it, it feels like a swimsuit.

5. They donate to a good cause

Everyone should have access to period products. Period.

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For every pair of underwear that you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. It seems like most are sent to developing countries where women do not have access to proper menstruation hygiene products. In addition to this, Thinx was designed to help cut back the number of disposable pads entering landfills. They designed this underwear to be a more sustainable alternative for people with periods!

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