Kansas City Happenings

So Danny and I have been in KC for about a month now (me a little longer), and we are just getting settled in. Here’s some things that have been happening over the last few weeks.

1. I got a job!

Last week, I accepted an oncology nurse position at an outpatient bone marrow transplant clinic. I’m so excited to get started! My first day is December 1st, but I’ll have orientation for the first couple weeks and then more on the job training.

2. I ran the KC Half Marathon

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I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon in October. This was an awesome race! We got to run through most of the KC districts like the Power and Light and Westport. The course is pretty flat and fast. I ran it in about 1:56 which was about a minute off my PR. The bad news is that I kind of messed up my knee (I felt it most of the race), and I’ve had to take a few weeks off running to let it heal. I ran about 2.5 miles this morning without pain so I’m hoping I can get back at it soon.

3. Danny’s brother got engaged.

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Danny’s brother got married to his long-time girlfriend, and I’m stoked to finally have her become a part of the family (even though she pretty much already was). Danny and I got to assist with the proposal which was on the rooftop of a building in the Crossroads. Then we had a wonderful dinner with family. So happy for these two. :)

4. Poor Frank

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So remember when Frank scratched his eye and it got infected and then he had to have it taken out? We are having the same issue with his other eye now. This was him on Saturday when he acquired his new accessory. Doesn’t he seem thrilled?

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All is not lost. We are on a strict medication regime that the doctor has hopes will help heal the ulcer and prevent an infection in the process. Frank gets three pills every morning and night, as well as 3 different eye drops every 2 hours. I consider myself Frank’s full-time caregiver. :)

5. We went to a K-State game. 

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In October, we drove to Manhattan, Kansas (our alma mater) for a football game. It had been years since I’d been back in the Little Apple (as so its called), and it brought back fond memories of college life (although I don’t miss the hangovers).

6. Checking out the KC coffee scene

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After our three years in Portland, you could say we’ve become somewhat picky about our coffee. KC is getting a lot of recognition for their coffee bars these days, and we needed to check them out. The above photo is from Thou Mayest in the Crossroads. We ordered two different pour over coffees and they served them in cute little jars. I was sold. :)

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We also went to Homer’s Coffee House in Old Overland Park on Sunday morning. Despite the outdated look of the place, my latte was perfect. I usually drink black coffee, but on the weekends, I’ve been treating myself to lattes. Good decisions.

7. Eating all the BBQ (and other food)

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Every weekend, Danny and I have been going to some of old favorite restaurants and checking out some new ones. Danny first choice was Happy Gillis in the Columbus Park neighborhood of KC. They serve rockin’ sandwiches, but I went with the soup and salad special. Lots of local ingredients and a fun eclectic vibe makes this place feel like it should belong in Portland (and I love it).

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I’ve also eaten three times already at The Mixx, a make you own salad place. They have two locations – one off the plaza and another in the Power and Light district (only open for lunch during the week). You can make your own salad, but I always order a salad off the menu or one of the specials. This place is amazing, and I would eat there everyday if I could. The regular size is huge (like you just ate your kale quota for the month huge), but the mini is just right.

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On Friday of last weekend, Danny and I went out to dinner to celebrate my new job. He let me pick, and I chose Eden Alley, a vegetarian and organic restaurant on the plaza. They have a Friday Date Night special where you can order an appetizer, two entrees and dessert for $30 dollars. We started with drinks – two ciders. Side note: KC needs more cider options at restaurants; I miss the Portland cider options.

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For our appetizer, we order a dip duet of hummus and spinach dip with gluten-free sweet potato flat bread.

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And for my entree, I ordered the Avocado Eggplant Street Tacos which were stuffed to the brim with fresh ingredients.

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Danny order the spinach mushroom loaf which came with potatoes.

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And for dessert, I ordered the vanilla cake that was served warm with chocolate sauce. So good.

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On Saturday, Danny’s parents took us out to celebrate as well. We went to Q39, a new upscale BBQ place on 39th Street. It totally lived up to the hype. The waitress suggested the combo plate so I ordered that. It came with your choice of meats and sides. I ordered the brisket and pulled pork with beans and coleslaw. Bonus – the gluten-free items were labeled on the menu. So nice of them. :)

And now you’re pretty much up to date. I have a week and a half of relaxing before I start my job. I’m going to try and get some Christmas shopping out of the way before the busyness takes over. So excited for the holiday season!

From Grain Free to Gluten Free

There are so big changes happening around here. I have some exciting news to report regarding the job search (more to come!). On the diet front, I’ve been experimenting with adding oats and brown rice into my diet. You may have remembered that I switched to a grain free diet back in June to help with a flare of my Crohn’s Disease. I suspect that my flare was partly stress-induced due to nursing school and partly due to being more relaxed about my diet (read: nursing school stress induced comfort food eating).

I felt about 80% better in about one week of the diet so I stuck with it for the most part over the last 6 months. Recently,  I’ve been craving my old healthy staples like oats and brown rice. Since I exercise 4 – 5 times per week, I feel like I need more carbs to fuel me through the workouts; however, its difficult getting carbs through the diet.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been adding some grains back in, and I’ve been feeling really great so far. No Crohn’s symptoms, and I feel like I have a lot more energy. For recipe ideas, I’ve been sticking to some of my old favorites from Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks (So Easy, The Food You Crave, and Weeknight Wonders) modifying as needed.

Here’s a sample of what we’ve eaten at home over the past couple weeks.

Breakfast

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The Start Right Smoothie adapted from So Easy (almond milk, frozen banana, frozen strawberries, oats, almonds, vanilla extract and honey)

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Vanilla Spice Oatmeal from So Easy (my favorite way to make oatmeal ever – oats, raisins, salt, nutmeg, vanilla extract, pecans, and cinnamon topped with almond milk)

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The PB and Fruit Wrap from So Easy (brown rice tortilla, PB, sliced banana, chopped date, and cinnamon)

Lunch

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Lettuce, Onion, Vegetable and Egg Salad Wrap from The Food You Crave. I’ve probably made this recipe 20 times since I bought the cookbook several years ago.

Dinner

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BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw from So Easy (used gluten-free buns). This came together fast. I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken cooked in a quick homemade BBQ sauce. The coleslaw was made with Trader Joe’s broccoli slaw.

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Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Sauce from Weeknight Wonders. This used the rest of the rotisserie chicken and no baking was required. Mmm…

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Lemony Lentil Soup with Greens from So Easy. This soup was perfect for the arctic blast we are currently having here in the Midwest. Gluten free bread on the side.

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I had the soup for lunch three times over the course of the week.

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Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce from The Food You Crave

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Comfort food – yum!

That’s all I’ve got as far as meals go over the last couple weeks. For the rest of life, I’ve got some stuff to share in my next post. We’ve been enjoying our new life here in Kansas City – spending lots of time with the fam, eating at some of our favorite KC restaurants (and trying some new ones), and getting ready for the holiday season.

The Pumpkin Patch

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On Sunday, our family drove out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins for the annual pumpkin carving contest. This was the first year that Danny and I were able to participate in the Halloween festivities. I’m very happy I get to spend this holiday season close to my family. Since it was […]

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Lazy Days

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So I’m really trying to enjoy these days of unemployment between school and getting a job. I’m currently filling my time with running, working out, yoga, play time with my niece and nephews, and watching tons of baseball. This morning started with another smoothie. This one had almond milk, frozen strawberries, frozen banana, walnuts, and […]

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Party Like It’s 1985

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The Royals win the pennant and advance to the World Series! The Royals swept the Orioles with four straight wins just after sweeping the Angels. This MLB postseason race has been unbelievable, and I’ve probably watched more baseball in the last three weeks than I have in my entire life. Just. Wow. I just want […]

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Weekend: Fall Sleepover

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This past weekend, my mom and I planned a Halloween-themed sleepover with my nephews and niece (the babies stayed home). We made homemade pizzas, decorated pumpkins, crafted bats and pumpkins out of toilet paper rolls and construction paper, played Halloween bingo, roasted marshmallows for smores, and watched Monsters, Inc. We threw one heck of a […]

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Weekend: Football and Family

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Here’s some pics from the weekend. Saturday morning breakfast of eggs, spinach and avocado. Trip to the Overland Park Farmer’s Market. It was quite chilly and windy. Hello, Fall. Our purchases – lettuce, sweet potatoes, apples, chicken, and breakfast sausage. Salad for lunch – chicken, avocado, blue cheese and greens. Saturday night, I stayed in […]

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Warehouse Weekends

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As I’ve gotten older, my taste in home decor has changed quite a bit. I find myself drawn to old and eclectic furniture and decorations. If I had the budget and the ability to decorate how I pleased (dang, rentals), I would outfit our home in  mid-century modern style with eclectic used art and nick […]

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Home

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Its with mutual sadness and excitement that I’m sharing this news. With some trepidation, Danny and I have decided to end our Oregon adventure and start the next phase of our lives back home in Kansas City. Although, we absolutely adore Portland for all its weird, eclectic, hippieness, we’ve decided that being close to family […]

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Fall Bucket List

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It’s that time of year again. The time when the weather turns colder, the leaves change color, and the Halloween decorations come out of storage. I love everything about the fall season – bundling up in scarves and boots, lighting pumpkin spice candles and drinking hot tea in the evenings, watching football, cooking stews and […]

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