Thursday, April 26, 2012

Truckin'

Hi there! Sorry, it's been way too long. I keep falling asleep to possible blog post ideas, clever titles I want to include, and photos I've shot but never posted. I really hate that I have been MIA on the blog lately, although I know this is really here for me more than you, but I like that you're here too! I wanted to provide a quick update on life since my travels haven't been plentiful enough to tack in little details here and there, I know my family at least wonders what I've been up to.

So, I am thisclose to finishing my first year of grad school. It's a really weird feeling to be almost halfway there. In the tedious moments when it feels like a difficult assignment or a nine-hour day of class will never end, I look up and here I am. I have really enjoyed my classes this year and I am constantly amazed at the things we are learning, how much I am actually using, and how cool it is that I will be lifelong friends with many of my classmates. (This last point is probably the most fascinating to me with an upbringing as a military brat.) We leave on Saturday for a week of public policy adventures (i.e. class) at George Washington University and three weeks from now the school year will be over.

At the same time, I've been working full time at Water.org. I can't say enough good things about how much I love working there. I am constantly learning and discovering things about the organization, water and sanitation in the developing world, and how I fit into the whole thing. I am really excited to be there and look forward to what the future has in store. Right now I am stoked to be able to focus on work over the summer without having homework in the evenings or classes on the weekends!

In between I've been up to the usual, as you have seen a little bit of on the blog. Trying to discover new places around town, dreaming up trips (still need to plan our July vacation!), and hanging out with Brian and friends. In all it's been a pretty great year, and it's only April! Hope you are doing well and I look forward to catching up with some of you very soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recent Restaurant Roundup

So, I have been a bit grounded lately (although I will be heading out all over once school breaks for the year; more on that coming soon). However, I haven't stopped trying new things and enjoying a little of what Kansas City has to offer. Here's a little peek at three restaurants I've recently sampled and my reviews:

The Westside Local - First off, I am really not sure why we've never dined here before but we were missing out. Nestled in a neighborhood just north of the Crossroads, The Westside Local was a welcoming, chill place for a meal following our First Fridays exploring. Brian and I both went for some comfort food; I had the mac & cheese (which was excellent and even better as a left-over lunch the next day) and Brian had the grilled cheese (with Brie, Emmentaler and local white cheddar) and the tomato fennel soup. We finished off our meal with an amazing slice of chocolate ganache torte on a pretzel crust. We were stuffed after that but we'll be back!
Blue Nile Cafe - I recently had lunch with a friend at the City Market location (an Overland Park location just opened as well). I had the Veggie Sambusa and the Butternut Squash and Red Lentil soup. It was a cold day and this was the perfect remedy. The service was good and there was a lunch buffet for those who prefer a larger amount of food. The smells and the authenticity of the food were perfect.
PizzaBella - Brian had been here once before without me and he knew it would be a great place for dinner before we went to see Quixotic at the Midland on Friday night. I loved it! I had the potato pizza and Brian and I shared the giant tiramisu. However, I think the thing I liked most wasn't even related to the food. I loved that the front wall was open even though it was raining. It made me feel like we were in New York City, which is perfect to me.
What restaurants have you recently tried and loved lately? (Include the city so we can all check it out.) Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Farmers' Market

This early spring weather is making me antsy for one of my favorite late-spring/summer past-times - trolling a Farmers' Market, preferably in a new city, of course. To that end, I wanted to share a few of my favorites in case you find yourself nearby one and want to partake.

1.) The Lee's Summit Farmers' Market - starting with the closest one to my house, this is my favorite one, I'm biased. I love that although it's small, 15-25 booths depending on the time of year, it has everything I need. Also, it opens for the season this Saturday, bonus! Open until the end of the growing season from 7am-sellout on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
2.) The City Market - Just up the road 30 minutes from my local farmers' market is the City Market, known to most locals as the River Market, but I'll go with the sign above as it's official name. This market is huge compared to my local one, which sometimes feels overwhelming but the thing I love is that some of the vendors have permanent storefronts, allowing you to shop throughout the week. They opened in March and officially do business on Saturday and Sunday.
3.) Omaha Farmers Market - Just a 3 hour drive from #2, the Omaha Farmers Market is impressive, even if they do leave the apostrophe out of Farmers' like the rest. It has a wide range of restaurants, homemade goods (food and non-food) and incredible veggies. I even blogged about it and some other Omaha gems almost a year ago! This market doesn't open until May 5th, after that it is mostly open Saturdays and Sundays with some special market events thrown in.
4.) Nashville Farmers' Market - Standing about 9 hours by car east of Kansas City, this year-round market is also climate controlled, compliments of the roof overhead. Boasting a flea market on the weekends, nine restaurants, cooking classes and more; you don't want to miss stopping by if you're in the neighborhood. Just make sure you leave some time to properly explore.
5.) Miami Farmers' Markets - Because it's Florida and the weather is pretty great year-round, save for the hurricane season maybe, there are too many great markets to pick just one and I can't honestly remember which ones I have been too over the years. Here's a list of the top ten.

I would also like to recommend a farmers' market I went to in southern California but I can't remember where it was. There are way too many listings for farmers' markets in the Greater LA area for me to figure it out. Oh well. Where is your favorite market? Don't have one yet? Check out the search feature of Local Harvest to find one near you. Thanks for checking in!