Where the Cool Kids Have Been – Kansas City

Places to Explore in Kansas City - Missalaneyus

Like many 30-something mothers, it can take me a while to hit up the new hot spots in Kansas City. And while I’m far from the first to get there, I still love discovering great places to shop and eat. In this blog series, I’m sharing some of my favorite new-ish spots in KC.

Bob Wasabi Kitchen – This sushi spot is so good. It’s usually packed, but service is attentive and swift. Try the poke bowl. You won’t be disappointed.

Doughnut Lounge – Let me start by saying the service here is wonderful. Everyone that works there is so friendly. It’s as well-suited to a Sunday trip with little ones as it is for happy hour with your favorite girls. (Also, the donut selection is legit. S’mores!)

The Rockhill Grille – My friends and I had a little staycation a few weeks ago, and we swung into the new Rockhill Grille for drinks one evening. Located where the Cashew used to be, this renovated spot is seriously gorgeous. While it was fun for a girls’ night out, it would actually be a very romantic place for date night. I’ve been referring to the decor as “sexy Hamptons,” which I’m pretty sure is a thing.



Where the Cool Kids Have Been – Kansas City

Places to Explore in Kansas City - Missalaneyus

Like many 30-something mothers, it can take me a while to hit up the new hot spots in Kansas City. And while I’m far from the first to get there, I still love discovering great places to shop and eat. In this new blog series, I’ll share some of my favorite new-ish spots in KC.

Golden and Pine – This store has a well curated selection of home goods. You’ll find plants, books, stationery, pillows, art and pottery here. It’s the perfect place to find something new to spruce up your home decor or pick up a gift for a friend. Also, the owner sources lots of artisans goodies, so while you’re being stylish you’re also supporting small businesses (win win).

Plate – Located in Brookside, this small, gorgeous restaurant is super popular. Be sure to make a reservation before going. Then, while you’re there, don’t miss the arancini, budino or pork shoulder pasta.

Krokstrom Klubb & Market – This is hands down my new favorite place to eat. The service is impeccable, and the food is even better. The menu features small plates, which means you can try a few things while you’re there. Everything we had was wonderful, but be sure to leave room for dessert, which ended up being my favorite part of the meal.

Shio Ramen Shop – This small restaurant is big on flavor. I’m still trying to figure out how to make mushrooms that taste half as wonderful as the ones in my shoyu ramen. On another note, the service is fast, which means you can be in and out really quickly – perfect for movie night.

Betty Rae’s Ice Cream – This ice cream shop is a place after my own heart. Their ice cream line-up changes constantly, which means even predictable eaters like myself will switch things up. Also, the cones are made from scratch. Get there (and bring me).

Magnolia’s – We popped into Magnolia’s for brunch and ordered enough food for 50 people. Everything was spectacular, including the friendly service. Your dishes will take a bit to come out, so order that extra mimosa and relax. I promise it will all be worth the wait. (Favorites were Magnolia’s French Toast, the Sweet Potato Pancakes and the corn bread.)


Science City Union Station


For years, I had heard great things about Science City, but had sort of written it off as something we’d do with Ellie when she was older. Well, at the ripe old age of 4, we thought she might enjoy it.


She instantly fell in love, and now, I’m kicking myself that we didn’t come sooner.


Science City is designed to be interactive. Exhibits are made to be experienced and have information and options for kids of all ages. In fact, I think we could have brought her a year ago. She would have had a blast exploring the space. The good news is we can bring her for many years to come.


Exhibits covered the science of sound, electricity and water. There were also botany, genetics and animal areas, along with an indoor playground. We were there for about two hours, but could have explored much longer.

Have you been? Which exhibit was your favorite?


Blueberry Picking at The Berry Patch


Two years ago, we took Ellie blueberry picking. She absolutely loved it and so did we. As you can guess, I was excited to revisit this tradition with her now.


If you’re in KC, you should definitely check The Berry Patch out soon. They still have blueberries, but be sure to verify that on their site, before you make the trip.


This year, we came home with a huge bag of berries, which are slated to make an appearance this week in blueberry pancakes.


In case you were wondering how much Ellie has changed, check out these photos from our 2014 trip.


4 Ways to Find Your Next Favorite Book

Today, my good friend, Kim Kardash Graber (no not that one), is sharing her book knowledge with you. She always knows which ones are hot and has a running list of favorites. In case you weren’t sure if she is an expert, I submit the following evidence: she took her engagement photos in front of a bookcase. 


I’m a huge book nerd. And unfortunately it’s led to some shameful behavior throughout my life:

-During pre-Kindle times in 2010, I once packed a suitcase for a Mexican getaway that held ONLY books. About 20 of them. Including hardcover. When I was singled out for a bag search, Cancun airport security was perplexed  – “You like to like read senorita”? Me: “Si.”

-In elementary school, I brought books to school with me. I would sneak them up my shirt and go sit on the toilet during class, so I could catch up on the Sweet Valley High twins.

-I have a tendency to have too many drinks on weekend nights and fight my husband to let me read my Kindle in bed. He always claims I will never remember what I read. He is right.

-I once owed the KC public library $30+ in late fees. At 10 cents per book per day…you do the math.

That was all very painful for me to admit. But luckily, I’m going to use my love of reading to give you four great ways to find some awesome new reads. Just don’t stick them up your shirt.

#1 Subscribe to the right eNewsletters.
Let the books come to YOU! I’ve found some great eNewsletters over the years that deliver some hot takes straight to my email. They all hit the mark…except for the disaster of The Girl on the Train.* I am still perplexed by the hype surrounding that train wreck of a book (no pun intended). Here are my favorites:

PureWow: PureWow.com is “dedicated to making your life more interesting and beautiful.” They also have a great book eNewsletter called Pure Wow Books.

The Skimm – “I read the Skimm every morning while brushing my teeth and feel like a master of the news by the time the 2 minutes on my Sonicare are up” – a Skimm’r.
The Skimm is just as it sounds… bite size news chunks sent to your inbox every morning. Every once in awhile, they throw in some hot takes on new books. Even without the book recommendations, you should still subscribe to this and prepare yourself for their amazing headlines.

BuzzFeed Books – There’s more to BuzzFeed than just personality quizzes. They have a great book section with tempting headlines such as “Books to Read Before the Movie Comes Out.” Sign up here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/books.

#2 Use the “Customers Who Bought This…” feature on Amazon.
This is probably my number one go to. It’s essentially…”If you liked THIS, then you’ll LOVE THIS.” Think recommendations personalized for what YOU have liked in the past. Liked Gone Girl? Well, then you might like The Goldfinch or Everything I Never Told You. Liked Where’d You Go Bernadette? You might like The Vacationers, Crazy Rich Asians, or The Rosie Project. Some of my more favorite reads have been found using Amazon’s suggestions. The store on my Kindle also provides great recommendations, such as their “New and Noteworthy” and “Best of the Month” lists.

#3 Check out the Ashley Spivey Instagram account.
Book recommendations on Instagram? Oh yes. I may follow a reality TV star or two (or 200) on Instagram. One of my favorites is a past contestant from Bachelor Season 15…Ashley Spivey. Every few weeks, she posts a screen shot of what she has downloaded on her iPad. And let me tell you…she’s always on point and has the latest and greatest.


#4 Just follow me on Goodreads.
If all of this is too overwhelming, just follow me on Goodreads – my favorite way to keep track of what I’ve read and what I want to read. I update weekly.

So, what’s on my “to read” list right now? Here’s a preview of which tasty reads I have planned for the rest of 2015:

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (Currently reading)
After You (the sequel to Me before You by JoJo Moyes)
Asking for It
The Admissions
Fates and Furies
South on Highland
Little Pretty Things
The Hand that Feeds You
Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling
The Status of All Things
Everything You Ever Wanted
Barbara The Slut and Other People

*Kim and I will agree to disagree about Girl on the Train. I really liked it, but have definitely heard others did not. (Kim and my mom)


Explore: Sedona, Arizona

And, I’m back. Last week, I was struck down with a monster virus, which is why I was absent from the blog. It was not pretty.

But, I’m happy to report Sedona is very pretty. I mean look at her. Gorgeous, right?


Two weeks ago, I joined five friends for a long weekend in Sedona. It was my first time traveling to the Southwest, and I was immediately struck by how beautiful it is there. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite things from the trip. girls-trip-sedona


Pink Jeep Tour – We did a Pink Jeep Tour our second evening in town. It is a fun way to see Sedona, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Sedona Rouge Spa – The girls who organized the trip set us up with appointments at the Sedona Rouge Spa. I chose a facial and shea butter wrap. They were both absolutely lovely. One of the great perks of choosing this spa over some of the other options was that they gave us access to the their pool.


Elote Cafe – This place has some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. Wait times are really long, so know that in advance. However, I’d wait a hundred years for their elote (fire roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime and cotija cheese). It’s that good.

L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek – I had heard this restaurant had great views, but I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived and were seated a few feet away from a creek. The menu is pricey, so I’d recommend checking it out for brunch or lunch. Don’t miss the burrata or the cocktails.


VRBO – Since we had a large group, the girls secured a great VRBO house for us. It was the perfect fit. We had a full kitchen, so breakfast could happen at home. Our particular spot had a shaded deck, so we spent one afternoon eating cheese and crackers and drinking some wine, while learning how to nae nae. Good stuff.


What’s In


Ellie fell in this pond twice in 24 hours. Here’s a quick look at what I’ve been into lately:

Listening – I am not a crafter, but Elise’s podcast Elise Gets Crafty is one of my favorites. She shares business insights perfect for a #girlboss like myself. I’ve been listening to it on early morning walks and am hooked.

Wearing (almost) – I picked up this shirt last weekend in black and have already gotten the army green too. Right now, it is too humid for sleeves, but soon, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it everywhere. It would be perfect with jeans, dress pants or a skirt.

Going – Have you been to T. Loft in KC? I feel like everyone and their mom tried it long before I did, but last week, I was there twice (once for a juice and again for lunch). I am hooked.

Wanting – So many things. This is not an understatement. In particular, I’m craving these boots, this necklace and this cape jacket.

Making – Would you describe yourself as having a zucchini problem? Well, I would. This chocolate zucchini bread recipe from Simply Recipes is fantastic. Make it, and you won’t regret planting zucchini quite so much.