I am starting a new monthly column (beginning today!) – The Creative Local. This series showcases boss ladies, whether it be bloggers, entrepreneurs, or women making a difference in their neck of the woods. Each will showcase their current city, taking us around to their favorite places along with a little bit of their current business endeavors. Tag thecreativelocal on Instagram & Twitter to showcase the creative local in YOU. First up is the inspirational Jessica Zimlich from the blog, 26 And Not Counting. She is Kansas City based blogger, who I have been a big fan of since the beginning of my blogging time. The personal touch she brings to her blog makes you feel like you have known her for years. So without further adeu, meet Jess, Kansas City & her little corner of the web. The Westside Local One of my favorite places to take visitors is The Westside Local. If the weather allows, I always request a patio table. The food is fresh, farm-to-table and the (adult) grilled cheese is life-changing. Also, you aren’t doing it right if you don’t get a side of garlic aioli to dip your fries in. Murray’s Homemade Ice Cream I’ve never met a dessert I don’t like and Murray’s Homemade Ice Cream knows what they’re doing when it comes to ice cream. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on their menu, but the french silk is my go-to! Cleaver & Cork If you’re looking for a chic happy hour spot, Cleaver & Cork is the place to be. My order: a glassy of bubbly and deep fried cheese curds with their house-made ranch for dipping. I said the venue was chic, not my order! Next up: An Interview with Jess (Read Below) In a few sentences describe yourself. I’m Jess, a lifestyle blogger living in Kansas City. I have a passion for working out, dining out and being surrounded by people who make me happy. I like to think of myself as a determined individual who’s always looking for a ways to grow and better myself. How did 26 and Not Counting start? What created your passion for blogging? Back in July of 2013 I accepted a new position in marketing and turned 26 all in the span of a few weeks. It was more of a, “what have I gotten myself into/why am I not getting any younger sort of thing.” I needed something more and most of all, something to call my own. I figured, why not start a blog. A lot has changed since then, but I can honestly say that starting 26 and Not Counting is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. The name came about quite organically – nothing to write home about. Like I said, I had just turned 26. But I started to notice a trend in the way I was approaching birthdays. The thrill was replaced with dread and I knew it wasn’t a healthy mindset to be in. I’m learning to appreciate each and every year as it comes. You come across as a very inspired and passionate person, who or what do you get your inspiration from? Well, thank you! I find inspiration in the blogs and magazines I read, running in the outdoors (but that doesn’t mean the treadmill hasn’t led to a great idea, or two!), visiting a new city for the first time, my close friends and the projects they are working on – in all honesty, I think inspiration can stem from pretty much anywhere, you just have to be open to it. Favorite part about blogging? There are so many things I appreciate about blogging – the people, the opportunities, I could go on and on. I’ve learned a great deal over the past two years (mostly about myself) and at the end of the day, I’m thankful that blogging has pushed me to try new things and has quenched my thirst for continuous learning. What is your biggest hurdle you have had to overcome in your life/business? I once weighed close to 180 pounds, maybe more, I’ll never know. Losing weight and keeping it off has been one of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to overcome in life. It was hard and there were good days and bad. There were days where I beat myself up for letting it get to that point, but I have such an appreciation for my body now and all that it can do. Working out has become an essential to my well-being and I don’t know that I would have come to that realization if I hadn’t found myself in that situation. Top Bucket List Locations? I’ve always got the beach on my mind. Cliche, I know. St. Lucia has been on my radar for what feels like forever and I’m dying to hike to the top of the Gros Piton Mountain there. I’ve also got my heart set on visiting Santorini (hello, blue water for days). When it comes to stateside destinations, I’m longing to visit Napa Valley, but then again, this is my bucket list, so let’s go ahead and add Italy’s wine country as well Currently – Top Must Read Blogs? If I had to pick my top 5, they would be: Hallie of Corals and Cognacs, Grace of The Stripe, Annie of Annie Reeves, Liz of Sequins and Stripes and Jess from The Golden Girl Blog – in no particular order. _____________________ Given this is my very first The Creative Local post, let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for future posts! Simply leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Oh, and don’t forget to share how you are creative in your current city by tagging thecreativelocal on Instagram and Twitter. Visit Jess: 26 And Not Counting You can also find her here: Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Bloglovin’ | Instagram Outfit Photos via: Sarah Sweeney Co.