September happenings

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This past week, my parents and I went to Topeka’s version of First Fridays and we were quite impressed!  They have really made improvements the past couple of years in the space that used to just hold old bars and diners to now showcase local art, clothing and jewelry.  There were a couple local restaurants that offered Mexican fare on the street and most places offered free wine.  I found a little something for the coming holidays!

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The next day, my mom, Godmother and I did a 5k for the first time ever together.  It was such a great day for it!5k

 

I also tried out a couple of newer places in Lawrence, Ramen Bowls and The Roost.  Both were great!

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That was my first time trying “real” ramen and it was delicious.  That broth was so flavorful!  My bowl included seaweed, a soft boiled egg, chicken and veggies in a pork bone broth.

Also, the largest coffee order I have made to date…

20140831_161032 (1)Hope you’re having a great Tuesday!

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My caffeine journey

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This August marked my fifth year in Kansas City!  During my time here, I have enjoyed seeing the progression of formerly only coastal dining options becoming available to us in the midwest, transportation ideas (here’s to you KC streetcar) and the growth of the coffee community.  When I moved into my little piece of Kansas City in 2009 I was really close to one of the most well known coffee shops, The Roasterie.  However, I had not acquired the taste for the beauty of a well crafted cup of coffee and never frequented the place.  Fast forward a couple years (where working nights was included) and caffeine became more of a necessity.  I delved into the world of tea- saying Sayonara to Lipton and discovering how to brew loose leaf. I toured the Celestial Seasoning’s Factory in Boulder, CO and then started learning about organic.

Then I wanted more.  I started out brewing my frozen (strike 1), pre-ground (strike 2) coffee in an automatic machine (strike 3).  I hated the taste so I added creamer.  And I still didn’t like it.  THEN, I discovered locally roasted coffee and my tastebuds did quite the happy dance.  All this to say, the past year I have researched, chatted with the pros (my local coffee shop baristas), and watched numerous YouTube videos about the art of home brewing.

First, I traded in my blade grinder (which works perfectly well now for spices) for a burr grinder.  This gave me the option of how fine or coarse I wanted my beans.  Which was great because I also bought a French press.  And an Aeropress.  And a Clever.  All requiring different grind size.  Then I got a goose neck temperature controlled kettle for that water that is definitely in the 195-205 range, no more guessing.  To finish off, I got an airtight canister for those whole beans.

Right now in the heat of the summer, my dad and I have been enjoying cold brew.  Doing a little searching on it, I discovered the smoother taste comes from the fact that since it isn’t heated the oils and tannins are not being released.  There are coffee shops popping up everywhere in the Kansas City area and I am just loving the different personalities of them all.

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My first PSL (pumpkin spice latte) of the year from Kaldi’s. It was made with legit pumpkin and maple syrup. Boy was it good!

Where is your favorite KC coffee shop?

Seattle recap

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Hello blog world!  Sorry I have been MIA for awhile.  I have however, been crossing things off my list!  This month, I took the PCCN and passed so I am now officially a certified nurse in progressive care, woo hoo!  I also managed to complete a non-wobbly yoga handstand!    

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We took a family vacation to Seattle last week and after seeing Alisha’s awesome yoga poses in cool places, I took advantage of the gorgeous Washington scenery to do a few.   yoga

 

 

We enjoyed a lot of awesome coffee and tea, the two places we visited the most were Stumptown and Zoka.  

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We visited the famous Pike Place Market, crossed off my goal to do a winery run (that turned out to be on the street and didn’t have free wine :( ), explored Olympic National Park and enjoyed beautiful views.

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From top left corner clockwise: Crescent Lake, Downtown Seattle, West Point lighthouse at Discovery Park, Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Meals included lots of fresh seafood, mainly Dungeness crab, and fresh produce-including roadside blackberries.

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From left to right: Heirloom tomato salad with crab at Tom Douglas’ Etta’s, Crab cake benny at Barking Frog, Blackberries everywhere, Egg scramble with housemade sausage at Portage Bay Cafe (thanks to Kristin).  I would recommend all of these as well as a couple more I put on my travel restaurant page.

Thanks to all the recommendations of great places to try!