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NOV‘15 | Vol. 5 No. 7











































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GUILT ALMOST BROKE ME Red splotches filled Kate’s entire face, made even shinier by her tears. We ended up transferring to Children’s Mercy downtown so she could be in the children’s burn unit. That first night they doped her up on pain meds and brought her back to us with her face wrapped like a mummy. “They are soooooooooooo silly in there, mama!” she mumbled drunkenly. What have I done, I thought.

November is not my favorite month. Several years ago, on Nov. 4, my daughter Kate had a burn accident. It happened on my watch and was entirely my fault. In a horrible mishmash of bad timing and carelessness, she darted into the kitchen just as I tossed a pork chop into a pan with hot oil. I say “tossed” because I did not lay the pork chop gently in the pan as I should have. Rather, I gave it a light toss with my tongs and ran to pick up Carter, who was screaming a few feet away. At that exact moment, Kate rounded the corner and found herself directly in the path of an oil splatter. On her face. I wish I could say this next part is a blur, but I remember it as if it were in slow motion. The pain of a grease burn, we learned later, is excruciating. And it gets progressively worse before it gets better. So Kate was absolutely hysterical with pain. We didn’t wait for an ambulance — we were in the emergency room in 10 minutes flat.



Initially, no one could tell us how bad things would be. “Grease burns are their own beast,” the doctors would say. “You have to wait several days to see how bad they get. And then you have to wait months to see how bad they scar.” Stop it. And the days, weeks, and months that followed only got harder. On the one hand, I was glad Kate was still Kate — funny and sweet and remarkably unaware of the seriousness of what was happening. But on the other hand, I was gobsmacked with the reality that I had hurt my daughter terribly. I may have scarred her for life. I’ve never been able to describe how that kind of guilt feels. It’s not for lack of trying. The best I can do is say it’s sickening. It’s the kind of guilt that eats away at your stomach and makes you want to throw up every second of the day. The guilt won’t let you perform your daily chores because you feel obligated to sit and think about her all the time, for fear that she won’t get better.

The guilt sends you straight to the Internet — even though you know it will scare you — but you have to learn as much as you can because you are her only advocate. I don’t know for sure what crazy looks like, but I’m pretty sure it was this Johnson County mom, who didn’t change clothes for weeks and walked around whispering to herself to keep from crying. Years later, I thought I could write about it and wrap up the whole incident in a pretty package with a guilt-free red bow. After a year of outpatient care, Kate has very minimal scarring. You would never know from looking at her that she’d been burned. So our story has a happy ending, and you’d think that would make it easy to let go of the guilt. “Even the worst kinds of parenting guilt can be overcome!” I thought I’d honestly be able to write. But I have not overcome it. It has been years and I am a hot mess writing this. I think some guilt is too powerful to let go — it becomes a part of you. But I do think you have to learn to tame the beast. To survive. To live with it. I will always feel sick when I think of that November; I will always burst into tears every time I talk about it. But it has made me profoundly grateful for what I have, and not at all guilty about some of the small stuff I do. Guilt almost broke me … But I snapped back. And so did Kate. We are thankful.

Lindsay Weiss



















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SIMPLYkc Magazine is published monthly by Mach Publications, LLC. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of SIMPLYkc Magazine. All rights reserved. SIMPLYkc Magazine accepts no infringement or other responsibility for unsolicited or contributed copy, artwork, photography, or advertisements. No representation is made as to the accuracy hereof and is printed subject to omissions and errors. Opinions and statements in SIMPLYkc Magazine are contributed by authors and or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of SIMPLYkc Magazine. Photography and material in the publication as well as design may not be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission. References for copy will be made available upon written request. All rights reserved. ©2015, Mach Publications, LLC.



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Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs wide receiver



Arrowhead. It’s the loudest stadium in the NFL. It’s also one of the toughest stadiums to play in. Kansas City has a passion for football. In our third feature of Kansas City sports athletes, we went inside the Chiefs Training Facility to chat with Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, tight end, and Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver. We had to find out — what does Arrowhead sound like from the field?



Simply KC: We are deep into football season. For all of our Mizzou fans out there. M-I-ZJeremy Maclin: Z-O-U! How does it feel to be playing so close to your college? Maclin: It’s cool to be back in the state of Missouri. I actually grew up in St. Louis. I used to be a Rams fan. But I did not dislike the Chiefs, though. There’s no bad blood there. It’s good to be close to family. Did you ever think you and Chase Daniel would be playing together on the same professional team after your college years at Missouri? Maclin: That’s my guy. We have remained close over the course of the years. Right now, obviously, he’s back behind Alex [Smith]. Alex is the guy who is going to take us where we need to go. The good thing about this league is when a guy goes down, one will step up. And I think Chase will do that if called upon. He’s a good dude. But for now this is Alex’s ship. What is more fun: playing football in college or the pros? Maclin: Both! They are different. The NFL is a job. If you don’t per-

form well, they’ll get someone to replace you. But if this is something you dreamed of doing since you were yay-high and you get a chance to run around and catch balls and tackle people, it’s all fun. Travis, tell us about your nickname, Zeus. Travis Kelce: I can’t tell you much about it other than that’s what the KC faithful call me. From what I understand, it came from Fantasy Football last year and from there, everyone just ran with it. There are memes and pictures all over social media now. It’s pretty funny. Arrowhead is officially the loudest stadium in the NFL. How loud do we sound on the field? Kelce: Well, when I am on the field, everything gets kind of muted. But when I’m on the sidelines, watching the defense play, it’s a whole other world. I mean, you can barely

talk to the person next to you. It’s to where my helmet is just rattling against my head. You have been playing for the Chiefs for a year. That’s long enough to form an expert opinion. What is your favorite Kansas City barbecue? Kelce: Oh wow. I’m going to go with the new one — Q39. It’s good stuff. It makes you feel like you’re eating healthy. That’s what I like to tell everybody, anyway. Jeremy, this is your first year playing for the Chiefs after the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a serious question: Philly cheese steak or Kansas City barbecue? Maclin: Oh, Kansas City barbecue. It’s not even close. Right now, my favorite barbecue is Q39. What’s your favorite pig-out food? Maclin: I don’t really call it pig-out food

because it’s pretty dang-gone good, but Imo’s Pizza. I eat healthy. I’m not one of those guys who will cut out certain types of food. I try to eat fish twice a week. I cut down on the red meats. But I still like my steaks and stuff like that. No fast food! If you were to let loose one night, where would you be found? Westport? Plaza? Power and Light District? Maclin: You know, I have gone out very little here. Q39! There you go. Q39 and my house! Oh, and Kona on the Plaza. That place is nice. What do you do in Kansas City in your spare time? Maclin: Just hang out. I’m a homebody. I like to chill at home. I don’t get much time to myself so I like to hang out at home. What do you do to pump yourself up for game day? Are you a morning person? Maclin: I’m a day-to-day guy. continued on page 12

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I don’t have anything I consistently do. It kind of depends on how I feel that morning, whether that’s a song I want to listen to or talking to a certain friend or family member. I listen to a little bit of everything to pump me up except heavy metal. My favorite artist right now is J. Cole.

big catch or you may see a big hit or a big run, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the attention to details. You can’t make these types of plays without hand-eye coordination, eye focus, and the little things you are taught as a child. You just need to fine-tune what you have.

Travis, what is more rewarding you — a pancake block or catching a first down? Kelce: Probably a pancake block. Those are always fun. Just taking the manhood away from somebody else. It doesn’t get better than that.

We love that advice! If you were not in the NFL, what would you be doing? Maclin: Helping kids. I don’t know exactly what my title would be. That’s what I want to do when I’m done. If there wasn’t the help on my journey, I wouldn’t be who I am. I want to be able to give back in that aspect.

We have a lot of parents reading this magazine. Do you have any advice for their sons playing football? Maclin: Attention to details. I think people get so caught up in the extracurricular things we do in this league. Someone has a

Travis, Kansas City has watched you for a year and we have come to an agreement: You can dance. But can you moonwalk? Kelce: IN CLEATS?! I can moonwalk, but

not in cleats. I can give a grade-A effort, but I don’t know if it will look quite like Michael Jackson. Who would you like to have a dance-off with on the team? Kelce: Oh man. If it were my pick, it would be Fish. Eric Fisher. Because I know I’m winning. He can’t dance for anything. But if I want good competition, I would pick Fred Williams. Are we going to the Super Bowl this year? Maclin: That’s the plan. And last question. Finish this sentence: O’er the land of the free and the home of the … Kelce and Maclin: CHIEFS!

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Myndee Lee of Lee Law LLC is reimagining law. It can be intimidating and expensive finding a lawyer, and when you need one, it often means your plate is nearly full. But Lee Law LLC is redefining the way law is practiced, making the lawyer experience more personal, more focused, and cheaper for everyone involved. Large law firms with numerous lawyers, paralegals, clerks, secretaries, and assistants have their place in our legal system. They are needed for situations that require multiple people to handle one case. But what about those cases that don’t require an assistant sifting through hundreds of documents and poring over tedious paperwork? Or what if you have a simple question about a legal document? This is where Lee has found her niche, and why she has chosen to redefine the role of a lawyer. Lee Law LLC’s motto is, “We listen,” which speaks directly to the more personal approach she has taken. Lee is practicing law in a whole new way, without assistants or a large office, so she can give her clients the focused attention they deserve. She handles each case personally and only takes on as many cases as she can attend to. Clients can contact her directly with questions or concerns rather than passing messages through an assistant. She also makes the experience simpler for you by meeting you where you are. “If I’m representing a company, for example, and I need to meet with them, I am happy to go to their location,” she explains. “That way they don’t have to take more time out of their day.” Because Lee makes sure she is always available for her clients, she can answer



the many legal questions that crop up throughout our day-to-day lives, such as how to fill out certain forms or how to create business documents. These are issues that most people try to tackle alone or with the assistance of the Internet. But, often, people find themselves in trouble because they weren’t trained on the nuances of law. This is why Lee feels her practice is helpful and important. She can answer these seemingly small questions before they turn into big hassles. Lee’s personal approach also allows her to be more focused on each case and see it through to the best result possible. Most large law firms juggle hundreds of cases at once. It is easy to feel neglected when your lawyer is being pulled in so many different directions. That’s why Lee works for herself. She chooses her workload and how much time to focus on each case. Another major advantage to the way Lee has chosen to run her practice is her prices. “What ends up happening is people say, ‘Well I can’t afford to go see a lawyer,’ or they are intimidated by it,” she says. “My vision is that I can provide a service to people who don’t have $10,000 to $15,000.” For example, if you have a five- to 10-page contract you don’t understand or a family-law matter you need assistance with, Lee says you could call her to get a quote before hiring her. Lee can charge lower rates than most major law firms because she works for herself, does not need to pay assistants, does not have expensive overheads such as a building or large office, and often

works by the project rather than by the hour. She has a conference room where she can meet with you in private, but otherwise is able to work from home. All of this brings down her costs significantly, which, in turn, brings down her prices.

Lee Law LLC is redefining the way law is practiced, making the lawyer experience more personal, more focused, and cheaper for everyone involved. As long as we have laws and a government, lawyers will be needed, but that does not mean advances aren’t necessary. It is good for lawyers to rethink the older methods of practicing law and find ways to better serve their clients. This doesn’t mean there is no place for large law firms with many employees. But these firms are leaving a portion of the population underserved. This is where Lee has found her calling, and the direction she believes law is moving; a direction where more and more lawyers can say, “We listen.” Visit or contact her at 913.549.7039 or

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Birds of a Feather: Owning a Pet Bird “Birds of a feather flock together.” We have all heard the saying. It means people who are similar to each other tend to spend more time together. But not all birds flock together. This especially holds true when choosing a pet bird. Owning a bird may be a little on the unusual side of the traditional wagging tails and wet noses, but that’s not to say a bird won’t make a great pet. Companion birds are smart and social. They are naturally inquisitive and learn quickly — which means you can teach them many tricks and even how to talk. Dean Tyson is the president of Beak and Wings Inc., a nonprofit organization in Lenexa that helps find homes for rescued parrots and other exotic birds not native to the state. Tyson shares some tips to consider when choosing a bird as a pet:

Music to your ears. All birds are vocal. “Finches, parakeets, cockatiels, and the poicephalus are the least vocal. They are quiet enough for apartment living,” Tyson says. Birds such as macaws or the African Greys are the ones that can be noisy — often screeching for attention. Some can speak more than 1,000 words, but there’s no guarantee they will talk. They are simply mimicking a sound.

Playtime is necessary. Unlike dogs and cats, birds are not domesticated. They need attention from humans. “Birds are as intelligent as a 2- to 3-year-old human,” Tyson says. “They will pick who they like based off how much interaction you give them. Don’t buy a bird just because they are pretty.” If you don’t have the time to interact with a bird daily, look into ones that don’t need the physical stimulation. A parakeet is a good example — it is happiest chirping in



its cage. The cockatiel, on the other hand, is a bird that loves to be out of its cage and held.

The mess factor. “If they don’t like it, they whip it,” Tyson says. Birds are not tidy creatures in the wild. The diet of birds consists of fruits, nuts, and seeds. And they don’t always keep their food to the confines of their cage. Their digestive tract turns their food into liquid droppings. Tyson recommends cleaning the cage at least three times a week and changing the water daily.

A long life. It is often said that birds can live through two owners. In general, the larger the bird, the longer it can be expected to live. African Greys and Amazons can live up to 50 years. The smaller species of birds, such as a finch, can be expected to live about

15 years. “But birds are not living as long as they used to,” Tyson warns. “They fall to diseases, like cancer, because of our environment. They will also get sick from human error, such as leaving the cage near an air vent. A bird will hide its illness in the wild. If their flock knows about a sick bird, they will leave it behind. Birds are masters at hiding their health.” Keep your bird in top shape with regular trips to the vet are required. A bird possesses a certain beauty. But they also have the brains. A pet bird can make a wonderful companion if you are prepared for the care they need. Owning a bird takes a special kind of person. Because, as they say, birds of a feather flock together.

APP OF THE MONTH WAKE UP TO A COMPLETE STRANGER IN YOUR EAR The gist: There are tons of smartphone alarm apps out there. We’ve written about

a couple over the years. (Some of us at SIMPLYkc Magazine have a really difficult time getting out of bed in the morning, especially once Daylight Saving Time ends.) But the Wakie! app is the most unique of all. Download the app on your iPhone, Android, or Windows phone, and then set your wake-up time. The next morning, some random person — likely from across the world will — be your personal alarm clock. Calls on Wakie last only 60 seconds, so your conversation will never get awkward. A bonus to the app: You can give wake-up calls to anyone nearly any time of the day, plus you can give advice to people, help them practice foreign languages, and more.

The cons: The free app is buggy and does crash. Sometimes calls don’t connect the

first time, which means you might go through multiple calls to get to a live person. Also, finding people to wake up might take a few minutes, despite the app indicating there are some currently available. On some newer phones, you might not be able to answer the phone — only reject the call.

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Nurse Practitioners Week: Serving the Greater KC Area Neonatal nurse practitioners at Overland Park Regional Medical Center

There are heroes all throughout the Kansas City area. They aren’t identified by their capes. They’ve traded in their fancy dogooder-mobiles, gadgets that are meant for saving the day, and any other superhero gizmos. But that doesn’t mean they hold any less responsibility. In fact, they might have more. (After all, whoever saw Spiderman or Batman walking hospital wings?) They’re known as nurse practitioners, and they, along with the rest of the medical community, are putting in long hours for the safety of their patients. Nurse practitioners must obtain a master’s degree (after a bachelor’s in nursing) and various other certifications. Essentially, nurse practitioners receive advanced training in both diagnosing and treating illnesses. They often serve as the bridge between doctors and patients, helping streamline communication and treatment in all areas. Nurse practitioners’ advanced training also qualifies them to give physical exams and prescribe medicine. This November, in honor of Nurse Practitioner Week, we celebrate their dedication by featuring the nurse practitioners behind



Overland Park Regional Medical Center Women’s Services Department. In this department, nurse practitioners come from two camps: those who work with high-risk pregnancies, and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which consists of premature or sick babies. “A huge advantage for our families is that we keep moms and babies together in the same hospital after delivery,” says Susan Thrasher, antepartum nurse practitioner. “We treat the sickest women at the earliest gestational ages.” Overland Park Regional often takes on cases that other hospitals aren’t equipped to deal with, she adds. Thrasher is the only nurse practitioner at the hospital who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. She has undergone intense schooling in order to do so. Common complications she treats include preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and diabetes, she says. But hers is just one nurse practitioner’s

career path. Nurse practitioners of Kansas City — and the rest of the world — take on all areas of specialties. They’re also the ones staffing speedy treatment centers, such as CVS’s Minute Clinic and many 24-hour care facilities. And although nurse practitioners can’t treat everything, they’re wellqualified, efficient, and in high demand. They are constantly educating themselves, which means you get the best care possible. And many hold multiple certifications. “I am a lifelong learner!” Thrasher explains. “Caring for people has always been important to me. I feel it is important to keep current on the latest research and encourage higher education for our nursing team.” It’s also a standard that the medical profession agrees with, as entry-level nurse practitioners will soon be required to have a doctorate degree in nursing in order to practice. It’s a step that Thrasher and others hope will keep raising the medical-care standard, and keep their superhero statuses boldly intact.

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In-Home Hospice Care: An Option Worth Considering Hospice is a challenging subject to address, no matter your situation. Perhaps you are currently dealing with hospice care for a loved one, anticipating it in the near future, or it has simply crossed your mind. Many people have to deal with it eventually. It is better to take some time now to think about how it will be handled before you are forced to by your circumstances.

One item that must be considered for your loved one is where she will receive hospice care. Some assume hospice is always done in a nursing home, special hospice-care facility, or hospital. This is not entirely true. While some hospice patients require the advanced equipment and extra care available in these facilities, many who don’t require these choose to do hospice in their own home, to which there are many advantages. The end of a person’s life often comes with extensive trauma for everyone involved. Creating a peaceful, restful situation for your loved one and your loved one’s family is the top priority. A person toward the end of her life can be affected negatively by being moved around and put in an unfamiliar, uncomfortable situation. “I believe everyone should be able to stay in their homes and feel safe as long as they’re able,” says Amy Cridlevaugh, client care manager for Kansas City Home Care Inc. in Prairie Village. Keeping your loved one in his home instead of spending the end of his life in a hospice facility is typically more peaceful, restful, and enjoyable. In-home hospice care also can lessen the financial burdens on your family. In such a trying time, financial burdens can only exacerbate a stressful situation. Many hospitals and hospice facilities can be very expensive, even with a solid insurance plan, leaving you and your family with lingering medical bills long after your loved one has passed away. In-home hospice care is often significantly



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cheaper, yet your loved one still receives skilled medical treatment, making the entire situation just a little bit easier to bear. In-home hospice care is also able to provide a less stressful situation

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for family and friends involved. Hospice care workers are available on-call and can take care of your loved one’s medical needs, personal care, daily living needs, and more. “Home care is everything from companionship to total care,” explains Cridlevaugh, who has more than 30 years of experience in hospice. “We do a lot of meals and assistance with daily living — a lot of just helping people with their daily needs.” This assistance takes the burden of care off you, instead allowing you to spend meaningful time with your loved one. You will be making memories and your loved one will be finishing a fulfilled life with dignity. The end of a person’s life will never be an easy subject to approach,


but when it is addressed, in-home hospice care is an option worth evaluating. Your loved one’s situation is bound to be unique, so only you, your loved one, your loved one’s family, and your loved one’s friends will truly know what is best. When considering options, though, in-home hospice care may just be the best for everyone involved. Mention SIMPLYkc to receive discount. Valid at Olathe store only. Expires 11/30/15

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EXPLORE AUCTIONS FOR HOME DECOR TREASURES Everyone loves a deal. And most everyone loves competition. Combine the two with local auctions, and it’s an all-American free-for all where folks are trying to beat one another for a budget-friendly victory. Find, out-bid, buy, repeat. For years, it’s been a pastime that’s brought together friends, business owners, and hobbyists. Anyone can go. And if you’re looking for treasures you can incorporate into your home decor, you might just give auctions a try. Thanks to retro styles that are coming back and trends that incorporate eclectic mixes into a single setting (and oftentimes, a single room), auctions have become the perfect place to buy home decor. They feature items from all eras and styles. These previouslyowned goods are generally cheaper than what you might find at a home furnishings store. Auctioneer Andrew Turner says he enjoys seeing all the unique items up for sale. He auctions off goods at his shop — Andrew Turner Auctions — on Guinotte Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, every week. There, shoppers can purchase anything from furniture and antiques to collectibles and jewelry. “Auctions



are fun,” he says. “People come down and get caught up in it.” Turner’s auctions bring about 100 to 150 people each week, who are after any number of items. “It seems like there’s no end of stuff in Kansas City,” he jokes, crediting the amount of “stuff ” to Midwestern basements. “You just never know what somebody’s going to want. It’s always interesting.” Auction regular Michele Johnson says it’s as much about the finds as it is the experience itself. “I kind of fell in love with the process,” says Johnson, who has been attending auctions and estate sales for 20 years. “And part of it is finding that treasure you want.” Some of her favorite “wins” include an antique picture frame with velvet or a ceramic yard piece that reminds her of her family. The secret to finding great deals, she says, is to wait toward the end of the event. “When there’s less of a crowd, you can get stuff that they’re practically giving away,” Johnson shares.

Tips for Auction Newbies It may sound like an intimidating process,

but auctions are pretty simple, Turner says. Folks bid on an item by responding to the auctioneer’s calls, which are simply numbers spoken very quickly. Auctioneers will help buyers, many of whom come to appreciate each sale, he adds. If you’re a first-timer, consider attending a preview, if possible. Some sales have a printed list of what’s being sold, but looking at items in person will give you a better understanding of what’s offered. Auction fare is sold as-is. Turner says you should research prices, points of history, etc., so you know exactly what you’re buying. Next, when you show up for the sale, bring a form of payment and an appropriate vehicle — especially if you are shopping for large items. Then, sign up at the cashier’s table and take your bidding number. Having this number ready helps sales go more quickly for both the auctioneer and bidders. Finally, Turner says to just go and have fun. “There’s kind of an electricity in the air,” he explains. “You’ll catch on quick. Test the waters a little bit, and you’ll be caught up in no time.”

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Maybe it’s the extra baby weight. Or maybe you have a wedding gown, tux, or bridesmaid dress you need to fit into a year from now. Or maybe you promised your 12-year-old to a footrace — and you really want to win. The fact is many of us struggle with our weight. For some, weight control can be accomplished with a mixture of hard work, healthy choices, and a lot of dedication. But for those who need a little help, Jesse Lopez, DO, from Heartland Surgical Care offers a new procedure — the only one offered in Kansas City — to help improve your health without invasive surgery such as bariatric surgery. The Obera balloon is ideal for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 40. In general, the higher the BMI number, the more body fat a person has. In terms of pounds, Dr. Lopez says the Obera balloon is for adults who are 20 to 80 pounds overweight. The Obera balloon concept is simple: It’s a saline-filled balloon placed inside the stomach to help with portion control.

Dr. Lopez, DO



“It’s meant for people who want to lose a significant amount of weight upfront and may not be a candidate for standard weight-loss surgery. Furthermore, the intragastric balloon would be an ideal procedure to help someone lose weight for a big event such as a wedding, anni-

versary, or vacation. At the same time, we are assisting with lifestyle changes in healthy living,” he explains. The deflated balloon is placed in the stomach with an endoscope while you are sedated. The balloon is then filled with saline and the endoscope is removed. The balloon floats freely in the stomach for the next six months. This grapefruit-sized space “fills” the stomach, thus helping you feel satisfied from food quicker. The procedure takes just 20 to 30 minutes and you are free to go home the same day. The balloon is used in conjunction with diet and exercise. As soon as the balloon is in place, Heartland Surgical Care will set up a team of specialists to help you on your path to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. This includes a team of nutritionists, doctors, and exercise counselors. The majority of people with an Obera balloon lose weight approximately three times faster in six months than those on the same diet and exercise regimen. The Obera balloon is removed after six months. The removal procedure works the same way as the insertion — you are sedated while the saline is removed, followed by the deflated balloon. The procedure takes fewer than 30 minutes and you’re free to go home the same day. The team of nutritionists and exercise counselors continue their guidance for another six months after the removal. The Obera balloon is simply a jump-start to a healthy lifestyle change. It’s the life-style change that Dr. Lopez truly promotes at Heartland Surgical Care. “The Obera philosophy is consistent with what we do here at Heartland Surgical Care in terms of promoting weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes with not only surgical intervention, but with other nonsurgical therapies,” he says. These include Dr. Lopez’s HCG, phentermine, and Belviq weight-loss programs. Dr. Lopez also specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement therapies tailored specifically to each individual to address the metabolic causes of obesity. All of these modalities together optimize weight loss.

Obera balloon

land Surgical Care provides you with the help you need. When new patients visit, Dr. Lopez discusses medical issues and helps identify possible solutions, assisting you in making the decision that is best for you. After all, you promised your 12-year-old you would win that footrace. Heartland Surgical Care is located at 14205 Metcalf Ave. For more information, call 913.647.3999 or visit

The amount of weight you lose and maintain ultimately will depend on how closely you follow up with Dr. Lopez, follow his recommendations, and adopt long-term changes. Of course, positive reinforcement at home always helps. “The family as a whole is always healthier after one parent has a weight-loss procedure. It trickles down to the kids and everyone starts getting healthy,” he says. Dr. Lopez offers diet advice for everyone, whether or not you are considering a weight-loss procedure. Eat a lot of lean protein, moderate veggies and fruit, and low in complex carbs such as breads and pastas. You should usually avoid artificial sweeteners, sugars, and alcohol. “Watch out for the liquid calories,” Dr. Lopez warns. “That’s where most people seem to get into trouble.”

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ping local can run deep, too.

Why does it matter?

which Americans are encouraged to flock

How did it start?

The economic impact of Small Business

to small, independent retailers to do their

American Express launched Small Business

holiday shopping.

Saturday in 2010 when it trademarked the

Saturday, Nov. 28, marks the sixth annual Small Business Saturday. This is the day in

In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the intent of this initiative is to help boost the local economy and local

name and marketed it as a shopping holiday. The shop-small movement is nothing new; and is, in many ways, a return to the way business was once always conducted.

Saturday may be as much about year-round awareness as it is about the holiday shopping season. Advocates of the shop-small movement report that a much larger portion of dollars spent locally actually stay local, whereas when you shop at a large national chain store, the majority of their products and services flow through a corporate office in another town. This is not just because of the cash used to make a purchase at a local business, but also because that business will tend to also turn to other local businesses for supplies and support (think materials, banking, accounting, advertising, etc.). One report often cited claims that of $100 spent locally, $45 of it will stay local, whereas if that $100 is spent at a national chain only $13 of it will stay in town. This is just one study, and I would be remiss if I did not mention that, on the flip side, some economists argue that the true bottom-line impact of shopping local is a bit hard to quantify. Yet, whether it helps a little or a lot, it’s an

business by keeping money in the neighborhood. Shopping local truly can make an impact on multiple levels. Discovering quaint locally owned shops and restaurants is, first and foremost, fun to do. We feel good about supporting our neighbors, and it makes our town feel smaller and more personal. The economic impact of shop-



In the slump of the recession, this push

effort worth supporting. As you make your

was intended to help preserve jobs, neigh-

Christmas or Chanukah gift list, be sure to

borhoods, and support small businesses by

keep the corner stores in mind.

keeping dollars flowing close to home. The idea took off and has grown each year with more businesses joining in to support the effort and spread the word.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH A PICKY EATER We have all encountered picky eaters in our families. They are clear in their convictions about what they will and won’t eat. Most of the time, picky eaters have a limited amount of items they find palatable. And these items are not always the healthiest. My husband was an extremely picky eater as a child. My poor mother-in-law often would make my husband his own meal in addition to what she was cooking for the rest of the family. He rotated between peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese. Rarely did he eat fruits or vegetables. Thankfully, he has grown out of his picky eating habits! Many young children show signs of selective eating, initially rejecting many foods unless they are sweet or salty, experts say. While most outgrow their pickiness, about 12 percent of children



keep it up for years, research has shown. What many people don’t realize are the long-term effects of picky eating.

THE EFFECTS OF A SELECTIVE DIET Dr. Amanda Chaney, a licensed, board-certified doctor of naturopathic medicine at Chaney Integrative Family Medicine in Westwood, specializes in nutrition and helps many of her clients find the right diets needed to function at optimum levels. Dr. Chaney says there are a number of consequences to malnutrition, or not getting enough of the right nutrients one needs to survive: BEHAVIOR: Children may suffer from problems of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children tend to be become lethargic and irritable if the diet does not have enough of daily requirements of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. MENTAL DEVELOPMENT: You might notice delayed speech, delayed coordination, and slow learning patterns. INTELLIGENCE: Lack of concentration, poor memory and cognitive skills, and low levels of intelligence. Children tend to be become slow in following instructions. STUNTED GROWTH: While your child might continue to grow

in height, organs like the liver and kidneys may not properly develop. SKIN AND HAIR PROBLEMS: Skin rashes, allergies, frequent boils, itching, sensitive skin, hair fall, dandruff problems, premature graying of hair and even baldness in severe cases. DENTAL: Mouth bacteria and cavities (due to sugar). Soft drinks and other processed foods that have harmful dyes in them are responsible for teeth staining. OBESITY: Weight gain at such a young age is the result of too much fat and sugar in the diet. DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS: Children who consume too much fatand oil-rich food may experience a breakdown of their digestive system, causing stomach ailments. BONE HEALTH: Aches, pains, and brittle bones and lack of energy due to calcium deficiency. A lack of vitamin B in the diet can lead to problems like weakness, leg pains, and even incidences of frequent fractures. IMMUNITY: Low levels of immunity, increasing their chances of falling prey to diseases and infections. The resistance power of the child reduces alarmingly.

A HEALTHY PLAN Chaney says fruits and vegetables, along with a whole-foods diet, have been shown to increase immune function. This means fewer sick days! This diet also increases athletic performance, focus, and concentration and decreases the exacerbation of chronic diseases, like asthma. So, when choosing meals and snacks for your children, let fruits, vegetables, and whole foods be your guide. “The key to changing children’s diets is to change the options of food they can choose from on a daily basis,” Chaney says. She suggests starting by changing the snacks they are accustomed to eating. Remove junk foods from their lunches and snacks and replace them with healthier options. • Cut up fruits into bite-sized pieces and put them on a tray or in containers where kids have access to them. • Vegetables, carrot sticks, snap peas, or zucchini sticks can be a wonderful snack. Let them dip veggies in tasty salsa or yogurt with cinnamon or other spices. • If your children like pizzas or quesadillas, use whole wheat or gluten-free tortillas with hummus, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, or bell peppers tucked inside. • Smoothies go over well for breakfast, as well as snacks. Let kids pick the fruits you use. The best advice Dr. Chaney can give is to be flexible. Remember: You are the provider, not a short-order cook. Your job is to offer healthful foods. There will always be days when you don’t have it together, and that’s OK. Make breakfast for dinner, order in and have a picnic, or let them cook with your help — your kids will love it.

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MAKING THE CHANGE TO SOLAR POWER Now, more than ever, renewable resources like solar

other small electronics. These nifty little items will

power are becoming more accessible in houses

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and are especially handy when camping. GoalZero

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One of the easiest ways to use sun-powered items is by adding solar-powered lights to your landscaping.

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These cost quite a bit up front, anywhere from

these lights may cost more upfront, you’ll be saving

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Grieving the Loss of a Loved One During the Holidays

Well, maybe not for everyone. According to Certified Grief Recovery Specialist Jonna Templar, the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be particularly difficult for those who have suffered a loss, especially from death or divorce. Grief can weigh a person down, zap her of her energy, and leave her feeling like she is encapsulated in sadness while the world celebrates around her, says Templar, who is also a certified life coach from Martha Beck Inc. The desire to feel better, combined with our culture of instant gratification causes the bereaved to think something must be wrong when she isn’t able to just “get over it” or “be strong” after suffering a loss.

Fall is here and before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. It is, after all, “the most wonderful time of the year.” Right?



“The truth,” reveals Templar, “is that there is no time limit on grief. The duration and intensity are different for everyone. Grieving is a process that requires deep rest and self-care and cannot be rushed.” When it comes to the holiday season, someone who has typically associated this time of year with a great deal of joy and tradition may experience an intense awareness of grief, Templar says. Long-

standing holiday traditions may either lose their appeal or become even more important as a way to include or feel the presence of the person who is no longer part of the celebration. This may especially be true of traditions specifically associated with that person. For example, if the now-absent loved one was always was the one to carve the turkey, the person grieving may have a difficult time with the need to establish new rituals and traditions. “The key, of course, is that he or she doesn’t have to do this until he or she feels ready for it,” Templar says. Sometimes the anticipation of a holiday event can be more difficult

Experience the calm.

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in case the griever doesn’t feel up to going when the time comes. Just knowing there is a backup plan in place often will help alleviate the anxiety. As a result, when the event actually arrives, the griever feels more comfortable and is able to go through with the original plan. Templar points out that it’s also perfectly fine if the bereaved person doesn’t feel like celebrating. But he should avoid becoming isolated. Templar encourages finding a few activities your loved one enjoys and can share with other people. Anything that feels soothing to the soul will help move him toward healing. Templar encourages those who are grieving to be kind to themselves during the holidays, and to allow friends and family to love and care for them. This is an essential part of the healing process. One

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example of this might be letting others help with errands such as shopping or cooking. If someone you know is grieving, Templar suggests reaching out to her during the holidays or significant anniversary dates. “Let her know you are there to talk,” she says. “Encourage her to talk about her feelings, and then just be ‘a big heart with ears.’ Rather than listening in order to reply, listen simply to understand.” And don’t try to solve her grief and sadness for her, she cautions, because you can’t. There’s a reason psychologists refer to grief as “the healing feeling.”

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A person who has experienced a loss will benefit from practicing acceptance of whatever emotions he feels during the holiday season, Templar says. The more present he can be with his feelings, and the more self-care he engages in during those times, the better he will feel in the long run. Finally, Templar stresses that grief is a process. “All relationships are completely unique, even within families,” she explains. “So, too, is the

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way we grieve the loss of anyone who has played a significant role in our life.” There is not a right way and a wrong way to grieve. Neither is there a right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays after the loss of a loved one. “Do what feels most comforting, and get support from friends and family,” she advises.

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Jenni Koch, Owner/Designer Photo / Fish Kiss Photography

Photos / Nick Allen Photography



After graduating from K-State with a degree in apparel marketing and design, Jenni Koch had no interest in leaving her small town of Spring Hill, Kansas, to venture off to New York or any other big city to pursue her career. She worked a number of jobs in a variety of fields with good success, but felt that something was missing and had always dreamed of owning her own business. She found a love for f loral design when she agreed to handle the f lowers for a friend’s wedding, which led to requests from other friends to do the same for them. The quality of her work and the breathtaking beauty of her designs were a hit. A short time later, Wild Hill Flowers was born. When working with brides, Koch often lends a sympathetic ear to brides dealing with the stress of planning their wedding, so it felt like an excellent fit to expand the business to include event planning and design. “I hate seeing my brides so overwhelmed before their big day,” she says. “I try to be really ‘go with the f low’ for my brides, doing everything possible to make the f loral design and planning process enjoyable and stress-free.” As owner and designer at Wild Hill, Koch enjoys every aspect of the business, including personally creating every bouquet and working closely with brides to make their vision come to life. “I absolutely love weddings and the energy surrounding this memorable day,” she confesses. “I’ve worked with the sweetest and most amazing brides, and love seeing all the planning and design work we’ve done come together to create the beautiful wedding of their dreams.”

ments with her other passion in life — animal rescue. She is currently working on a f loral inspired 2016 animal rescue calendar to support Unleashed Pet Rescue. “Rescue is dear to me personally,” she explains, “as I have five rescue dogs and two cats.”

“I do everything possible to make the f loral designs and planning process enjoyable and stress-free. It’s pure and simple — let me do the work.” — Jenni Koch Whether your event is large or small, formal or eclectic, Wild Hill Flowers and Events can design the perfect arrangements and planning to bring that special element to your day. Visit wildhillf or find the shop on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or The Knot. For more information or to set up an appointment, call 913.486.6178 or email jenni@wildhillf You can also see her at bridal shows, including Bella Sposa, the yearly show held in the West Bottoms.

Koch thoroughly enjoys the entire process of working with clients to create beautiful and perfect events of all sizes, whether personal or corporate. By being responsive, organized, and detail-oriented, she can efficiently design so her clients aren’t stressing and can actually enjoy the planning process and event. “It’s pure and simple,” she says. “Let me do the work.” Every event is completely unique. Each client’s inspiration, complexity, and f lower varieties come together to make each event special, she says. During the consultation, Koch works to identify key elements based on your style and budget that will ensure the f loral designs fit exactly with your vision. Koch suggests coming to the consultation prepared with fabric or color swatches, photos of your venue, photos of f lowers that you both like and dislike (she says Pinterest is great for this), and anything else that might be helpful for planning the f loral elements of your day.



oF 1 i t eM h p e Jos f* f o R ib k p r ic e *r e g . in g c Lot h

Koch, who believes the most successful way to approach any event is to work within your budget, has no minimum requirements and will work with you to develop the perfect arrangements and design for your event. She offers plenty of creative solutions and alternatives to make sure you are getting exactly what you want. Koch also notes that brides can use Wild Hill’s extensive stock of vases and glassware free of charge for their weddings. Wild Hill Rescue, her newest venture, advocates and supports the efforts of animal rescue in KC through fundraisers. Recently, Koch combined her passion for creating beautiful f loral arrange-

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BY LESLI LUNDQUIST Photo / Jeff Evrard

Turkey Leftovers 101

If you’re like me, you’ll have a bazillion tons of turkey left over from Thanksgiving. Not to worry. I’ve Googled some leftover ideas for you: 1. Sandwiches: From panini to grilled, cheese to cranberry sauce, sandwiches are a must! 2. Pot pie: Simply replace the chicken. Um, that’s a possibility … 3. Hash with gravy: I would like this, but I’m not sure about the rest of the family. 4. Waldorf salad: I should try a healthier option after eating that Thanksgiving meal! But nah. 5. Moo shu: OK, too much time researching ideas on the Internet! Wait! How could I forget our family favorite? 6. E meril’s Turkey Tetrazzini: I followed this recipe many years ago and I haven’t changed a thing ever since. It’s always requested after Thanksgiving — along with any version of the turkey sandwich.



Turkey Tetrazzini Serves 10



1-1/2 cups chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers 7 tablespoons butter, divided 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 pound white button mushrooms, ends trimmed, sliced 1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril’s Essence 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth 1-3/4 cups heavy cream 12 ounces wide egg noodles 1 pound cubed roast turkey 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Sauté the onions and red bell peppers in 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over high heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the mushrooms, Essence, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the wine and chicken stock and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon and very flavorful.

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1 (5-1/2 ounce) bag potato chips, crushed

When the sauce has thickened, add the noodles, turkey, parsley, salt, black pepper, and Parmesan to the skillet and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and top with crushed potato chips. Bake uncovered until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook egg noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside. Butter a 9x13-inch casserole or baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Recipe Source: Emeril Lagasse 2007 Meet Lesli Lundquist: A passion for cooking? Nope, not really! However, when I was diagnosed with food allergies nearly five years ago, my eyes were opened to all of the wonderful dishes that can be created day to day by simply following a recipe. I have been told that I am a “cook from the pantry” type of food guru. I love to keep my pantry stocked and to cook with the seasons, give my tastes buds a challenge, and of course feed my family delicious, home-cooked meals.










Gracious Gifts for the Stylish Hostess I was raised to follow the rule that you should never arrive at a party empty-handed — that it is good taste to always bring something for your host as thanks. If you are looking for something more unique than wine or flowers, check out our fun roundup of gift ideas. 1. Nothing says holidays like the Plaza lights! This evergreen-scented candle with the image of the Plaza lights is fun and festive. $25 from Tulip on the Country Club Plaza. ( )

is a luxurious and nourishing all-over body balm. This butter will work wonders on winter-worn skin and spirits. It is $28 and available at Hand & Land in Park Place. ( )

2. When drinks are being served, a coaster is always a necessity. These horn coasters are as stylish as they are functional. This set of four hand-forged brass and horn coasters is $110 and available at Coveted Home on the Country Club Plaza. ( )

5. You can never go wrong with a fabulous floral arrangement or centerpiece. This is something the host and hostess can display throughout their party and into the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year. Find beautiful arrangements and gifts at Flowers by Emily in Park Place. ( )

3. Lifetime Candles are a unique collection of oil candles filled with natural elements like flowers, plants, and even fruits or vegetables. They are refillable, clean-burning, smokeless, and odorless. $28 from KC Surroundings. ( ) 4. A product-savvy and stylish host will love the jasmine and cardamom butter from Marble & Milkweed. It



6. This single-serving setup by Tea Forte makes a wonderful gift for the tea-lover. It includes a double-wall, dishwasher-safe KATI cup with an integrated infusing basket and 10 World of Teas pre-portioned pouches. The set is available at Mango Moon.

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Productive 1

Stop multitasking.


Take advantage of your wait times.


Tackle big projects on rainy days.


Give yourself a pep talk.


Under-promise and over-deliver.


Take fun breaks during the day.


Let go of your need for perfection.

Tossing in a load of laundry while talking to a friend probably won’t throw you off your game. But, according to the American Psychological Association, even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of your productive time. Multitasking is also bad for the kiddos: Research suggests it may change the way they learn.

If you’re putting off working a project because you have a meeting in 15 minutes and don’t want to get started only to have to stop again … scratch that line of thinking. You will probably be able to get more done in that time than you believe.

A study completed in 2014 suggests you might be more focused on the task at hand on bad-weather days. Maybe this doesn’t come as a surprise to you — but when the weather is beautiful, you are more likely to daydream about frolicking outside.

Talking out loud to yourself can help you refocus and improve concentration. And, an article in the 2010 issue of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition suggests talking aloud also helps with memory retention.

Budget your time, but be careful to not underestimate how much time a project might take you. For each big project, pad your budgeted time with 30 to 60 extra minutes. You may not need it, but it will help you not feel so rushed.

If you’re having problems finishing a project, give yourself a break. Take a walk to clear your mind, play a couple games of Candy Crush, or watch silly cat videos. Playing and/or laughing might help you come up with creative solutions.

Whether you’re working on a project at the office or cleaning your house, you might never, ever reach perfection. If you can be OK with good enough, you’ll be ahead of the game.


HAPPENINGS NOV 4–6 Cutting Horse Show American Royal Complex, 1701 American Royal Ct, KCMO NOV 5–22 Urinetown – The Musical Musical Theater Heritage, Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, KCMO 816.545.6000 / NOV 6 HomeComing 2015: Downtown Funk Pennway Place at Studio Dan Meiners, 2500 W Pennway St, KCMO event-details 8 pm–midnight NOV 6–8 Fourth Annual Caffeine Crawl KC The City’s Best Coffee Shops and Roasters 816.679.2474 / NOV 6–12 The 15th Annual Kansas International Film Festival Glenwood Arts Theatre, 9575 Metcalf Avenue, OPKS 913.642.4404 / kansasfilm. com NOV 6–22 The Producers The Barn Players Theatre, 6219 Martway, Mission, KS 913.432.9100 / NOV 7 Wilderness Run Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Hodge Park 7000 NE Barry Road, Kansas City, MO


| SIMPLYKCMAG.COM 9 am: five-mile run, 9:15 am: two-mile run NOV 7 The Pitch’s Crafts & Drafts! Uptown Shoppes, 3600 Broadway, KCMO 816.561.6061 / 11 am–6 pm NOV 7 Ninth Annual Stand Up For Synergy with Billy Gardell Kansas City Improv Comedy Club in Zona Rosa 6 pm NOV 7–14 Rusalka KC Lyric Opera, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, KCMO NOV 7–22 Little Shop of Horrors White Theatre, Jewish Community Center, 5801 W 115th St, OPKS NOV 8 Great Pumpkin Smash Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr, KCMO 816.513.5800 / 10 am–3:30 pm NOV 8 Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner Community Christian Church, Centennial Hall, 4601 Main St, KCMO 816.509.7984 / 4 pm–6:30 pm NOV 10–14 UPHA National Champion-

ship Saddlebred Horse Show American Royal Complex, 1701 American Royal Ct, KCMO NOV 12–14 Screenland at the Symphony: Star Trek 2009 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, KCMO NOV 14 13th Annual Gift Gallery Curé of Ars Catholic School, 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS 9 am–4 pm NOV 14 Kristkindlmarkt Turners-GACA Hall, 512 Bong Ave, Belton, MO 816.322.4202 / gacaofkc. org 10 am–3 pm NOV 14 Socks and Hops City Market, 20 W 5th St, KCMO 7–10 pm NOV 19–22 Festival of Trees and Holiday Boutique Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd, OPKS 816.931.4686 / 10 am–9 pm Thursday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm Sunday NOV 19 – DEC 24 Christmas in Song Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W 10 St, KCMO 816.421.1700 /

NOV 20–22 Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms Kansas City Symphony, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, KCMO NOV 20 – DEC 24 A Christmas Carol KC Repertory Theatre, Spencer Theatre, 4949 Cherry, KCMO NOV 26 The Schwag Uptown Theatre, 3700 Broadway St, KCMO 816.753.8665 / NOV 27 – DEC 30 Bingham-Waggoner Christmas Tours Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W Pacific Ave, Independence, MO 816.461.3491 / bwestate. org 10 am–4 pm Monday–Saturday, 1–4 pm Sunday NOV 30 – DEC 1 Musical Mondays and Tuesdays Musical Theater Heritage, Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, KCMO 816.545.6000 / 7:30 pm

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SIMPLYkc Magazine November 2015