Nigros Western StoreI dropped by Nigro’s Western Store in Kansas City the other day and had to take a quick picture before walking in. It’s such an awesome store with a great selection of cowboy boots and Western wear. It’s also where I get my supplies for taking care of my cowboy boots (that I bought there!)

Here are some pictures of the inside of the store.

As far as errands go, this trip was definitely a “fun” one!

Sunflower Showdown

GrinterFarmsSunflowerLast night was a big night here in Kansas! Two of our college basketball teams, KU and K-State, squared off in a game that we call the Sunflower Showdown. There’s a big rivalry between the two schools so it’s always an exciting game to watch!

In honor of the Sunflower Showdown, I thought I’d share a few pics I took late last summer. I took them at a sunflower field between Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City called Grinter Sunflower Farm. The Grinter family is nice enough to let people come traipse around their fields to take pictures, and let me tell you, just because there aren’t any people in these pics doesn’t mean no one was around! It was absolutely packed…to the point that it was hard to find parking on a usually deserted gravel road! Although it can get a little crazy, it’s a beautiful place to take pictures and I’m so glad so many people get to enjoy a little piece of Kansas!

GrinterFarmsSunflower6 GrinterFarmsSunflower5 GrinterFarmsSunflower4 GrinterFarmsSunflower3 GrinterFarmsSunflower2PS I was so excited to see Varsity Donuts in Manhattan, Kansas (where the game was played!) highlighted on ESPN last night during the Sunflower Showdown! You can check out my post on them here.

How to Care for Your Cowboy Boots

HowtoCareforyourcowboyboots12A few years ago, I invested in a beautiful pair of cowboy boots from Corral. I say “invested” because, as you may know, a good pair isn’t cheap! They are definitely a pretty penny and something you want to take care of so they’ll last for the long haul. So, that’s why I’m sharing my tips on how to care for your cowboy boots!

My first piece of advice is to buy and wear boots that are appropriate for the situation. I have a pair of ankle-length Ariat boots I wear for horseback riding. They don’t have a lot of detail or laser inlays like the pair in the photo above, so whether they get dusty in the riding arena or dirty in the pasture catching a horse – I don’t mind too much. For doing chores, especially when it’s muddy, you may want to consider using a pair of rubber muck boots that can easily be hosed off. (And, please take my advice and resist an ankle-length pair of rubber boots…when it’s really muddy, it’s easy to take a step in a pasture and leave a boot behind! This has definitely happened to me, and trust me, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a cold, rainy pasture with a horse, lead rope and one foot that’s only wearing a sock. Tall boots stay on better.) For everyday wear (read: no mud) a pretty pair like my Corrals are perfect!

If you have any money left over after buying your boots (haha), you’ll also want to pick up a few handy tools: a brush designed for cowboy boot cleaning, some soft rags or cloths, and a leather cleaner and conditioner. I suggest All-Purpose Cleaner & Conditioner by Meltonian, only because that’s all I’ve ever used and it works great!

If your boots get dusty or dirty, you can use the brush to clean them off. Since I’m kind of picky about when I wear my boots, I don’t have to do this too often, but it’s nice to have when they need some sprucing up.

However, what I have NOT been good about doing is hydrating my boots regularly with the Cleaner & Conditioner. So, I thought I’d show you a few before and after photos from going through the process last night and this morning!
HowtoCareforyourcowboybootsThese were my boots yesterday. The poor things were drier than a cactus!
HowtoCareforyourcowboyboots8 HowtoCareforyourcowboyboots6To start the process, I used my handy brush to clean off any dust that had accumulated on them. Since I mostly wear them in city situations, they weren’t too bad, but it’s still a good first step to be in the habit of doing. This is also a good opportunity to trim any loose threads, etc. (If there are any loose pieces or sections are are missing significant amounts of thread, consider taking them to someone who specializes in cowboy boot repair.) Next, using a soft cloth and the Meltonian Cleaner & Conditioner, I applied the Meltonian “liberally” as instructed on the bottle and let it dry overnight.

The next morning, I used another clean, dry cloth to lightly buff and voila! My boots looked beautiful.
HowtoCareforyourcowboyboots5 HowtoCareforyourcowboyboots3 howtocareforyourcowboyboots13Here’s a quick before and after so you can see the results side by side…
howtocareforyourcowboyboots11If your boots are in need of some TLC, I hope this info helps!