SIMPLYkc Magazine August 2022

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Inspiring UPDATES TO YOUR HOME

GROW

AUG ‘22 | Vol. 12 No. 4

A FANTASTIC FALL GARDEN

DISH

KC’S NEWEST THAI RESTAURANT

HEALTH

GETTING UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT THE GYNO

PARENTING

GET YOUR KIDS READY FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL

Hike

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CONTENTS

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AROUND TOWN 12 TAKE A HIKE!

INFOCUSE 16 THE OLD MANGO

WELLNESS 18

INTERMITTENT FASTING

HOME & GARDEN 20

FIVE TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FALL GARDEN

LOCAL GOOD EATS 22 DISH 24

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BAMBOO PENNY’S

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HEALTH 26

GOING DOWN THERE: YOUR EMBARASSING GYNECOLOGIST QUESTIONS ANSWERED

PARENTING 28

ALARM CLOCKS, BOOKS, AND DESKS

BECAUSE I SAID SO 30 SWIPE RIGHT

BOOKISH 32

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WELCOME BACK ... TO THE SCHOOL LIBRARY!

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WHO WHAT WHERE 34 MEET REBECCA WELSH

GOOD TASTE 36

YOU SAY TOH-MĀ-TOE, I SAY TOH-MAH-TOE

DEAR KACIE 38 AN OVERSTAYED GUEST

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

… AND THE LIVIN’S EASY How are you enjoying your final days of summer? Are you stacking your personal days to enjoy the last free days with your kids? Squeezing in pool time every evening when you get off work? Grilling and eating dinner nightly in your backyard (after the sun has gone down, of course)? I’m personally enjoying the final days of summer with a weeklong family trip to the beach and trying to get a headstart on my oldest son’s college apartment furnishings as he is headed into his second year of college and will no longer be living in the dorms. I know the hailstorm that’s about to hit me: a new school year with one kid in college and one in high school, extensive class projects, extracurricular activities, and everything else involved with raising teenagers— all on top of my daily work life. It’s going to be (like always) a lot to manage. Even seconds into this new school year I’m sure I’ll be wistfully daydreaming of summer. It doesn’t help one bit that most of the our metro’s schools start up in August. Here’s to hoping you find the perfect way to hold on to that summer feeling. Page 12 will help you by guiding you to the right local summer park. Stay cool out there—and enjoy.

Suzanne Steiner, Publisher

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PUBLISHER Suzanne Steiner suz@simplykcmag.com MANAGING EDITOR Brennan Hallock of Hallock Writing & Design editor@simplykcmag.com ART DIRECTOR Julie Faerman, Whoo Design PHOTOGRAPHY Jami Bowman of Electric Imagez, Melanie McDowell, Molly Kuplen, Imago Dei Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Julie Burton, Sophie Oswald, Bethaney Phillips, Lauren Dreher, Brennan Hallock of Hallock Writing & Design, Judy Goppert, Tiffany Killoren, Gina Reardon ADVERTISING Gretchen McGraw, Sales 620.474.5859 sales@simplykcmag.com INQUIRIES SIMPLYkc Magazine 11730 W. 135th St., Ste. 116 Overland Park, KS 66221 913.209.9394 contact@simplykcmag.com simplykcmag.com

SIMPLYkc Magazine is published monthly by Mach Publications, LLC. No portion of this publication shall 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 shall not be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission. References for copy will be made available upon written request. All rights reserved. ©2022, Mach Publications, LLC.

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AROUND TOWN

TAKE A HIKE! HIKING IN KC

WRITTEN BY JULIE BURTON / PHOTOS PROVIDED BY VISIT OVERLAND PARK

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ummertime is a great time to get some exercise in the great outdoors, but August is tricky. Running might be out of the question during the hottest month of the year, but hiking is a great workout—just bring plenty of water. Lace up your boots and pack up the canteen! You’ll find the perfect trail in Kansas City no matter your fitness and skill level.

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Here’s your guide to the best hiking in KC.

If you’re a history buff … SWOPE PARK | East Meyer Blvd. & Swope Parkway | Kansas City, MO Swope Park is Kansas City’s oldest park and one of the largest in the country. You won’t be bored in Kan-

sas City’s version of NYC’s Central Park, donated to the city in 1896. There are many trails worth checking out at Swope Park. The Swope Park Mountain Bike Trail and Fox Hollow are good ones to start out, with trails winding through woodlands and grassy meadows. But if you’re serious about hiking, check out the Wudchuck Run Loop. This 2.2-mile loop trail is generally considered a mod-


erately challenging route, and it takes an average of 48 minutes to complete. There are some interesting sights along the way—log cabins and giant boulders carved from the limestone bluffs.

ideal place to bring kids. The Nature Center features a 500-gallon aquarium showcasing native stream fish, a wildlife viewing room overlooking a water feature with bird feeders and a gift shop.

If you want to hike with the kids …

If you’re a natural photographer …

ERNIE MILLER PARK & NATURE CENTER | 909 N. Hwy. 7 | Olathe, KS

OVERLAND PARK ARBORETUM & BOTANICAL GARDENS | W. 179th St. and US-69 Hwy. | Overland Park, KS

Pack up the kids and take them on a hike at Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center where you’ll find old bridges, stone embankments, and plenty of streams to get your feet wet. The Johnson County park features a nice mix of flat, straight trails and ones with more elevated terrain through the 116-acre area. Plus, with an animal education center and knowledgeable staff, this nature refuge is the

With a garden called “Monet’s Garden,” you know you’ll find some awesome shots while inside the arboretum. A large part of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are dedicated to the preservation and restoration of eight natural ecosystems. But you will find the five miles of paved and wood chip path are a local favorite when it

comes to hiking in the metro. If you’re an early riser, block off your Wednesday morning when the Arboretum opens at 7 am. Or make it a date night stroll on Thursday evenings when the Arboretum stays open until 8 pm.

If you’re looking for an urban hike … THE HARRY WIGGINS TROLLEY TRACK TRAIL | Volker Blvd./US-56 & Brookside Blvd. (or E. 85th St. & Prospect Ave.) | Kansas City, MO Who says you need to hike among dirt and trees? You won’t get more urban than the Trolley Trail. This popular KCMO trail runs on the route of the city’s last streetcar—known as the Country Club route—which stopped service in 1957.

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AROUND TOWN CONT.

A restored streetcar station sits at E. 54th Street and Brookside Boulevard, and it reminds trail users of how Kansas City used to be. The trail is in one of the highest density residential areas of Kansas City. City parks along the way give a partial break to the urban environment and give hikers a place to rest. While most of the route is surfaced with crushed limestone, there are certain areas prone to flooding that are paved. In the north, the trail connects directly to the Brush Creek Trail, which extends east and west along the waterway.

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If you’re looking for a lot of wildlife on your hike … PARKVILLE NATURE SANCTUARY 100 E. 12th St. | Parkville, MO Parkville has some of the best hiking trails in the Kansas City area, and the funny thing is animals love it too. Enjoy wildlife such as hundreds of species of birds, white tail deer, turkeys, groundhogs, woodchucks, squirrels, turtles, and many species of butterflies. The heavily wooded trails are

perfect for beginners as well as the advanced. There are three trails in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary. Old Kate Trail is the one that receives the most foot traffic and it features natural waterfalls you can’t ignore. The White Tail Trail gives hikers a bit more of a challenge, with rocky ridges and steeper inclines. Or take it easy on the Bluebird Trail, the mildest of the three, which includes an ADA-accessible trail spur to accommodate a wider variety of hikers.


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INFOCUS

THE OLD MANGO

HOME DÉCOR & MORE IN DOWNTOWN OP WRITTEN BY BETHANEY PHILLIPS / PHOTOS BY JAMI BOWMAN

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or 20 years, owner Courtney Caldwell had the idea for The Old Mango, a boutique home décor and interior design location. She even had the business name picked out, named after an old country song. But the entire time she thought it was just that—an idea, a dream that would never come true. She had a steady career that she loved and a growing family at home. Working as a nurse for 24 years, she thought she would retire as a nurse and was always fearful to take the leap into small business ownership. But one day she gained the courage to follow through on her dream.

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With the stress and changes brought on by the pandemic, she had to reevaluate and refocus on what was most important for her family. She ultimately decided she would leave health care and take a leap of faith. Caldwell was quick to mention the support of her husband and children, who regularly help with the store. “This is our family’s store, and no one has worked harder to make it possible than my husband, Trevor. We are a large blended family, and my kids have been my best supporters.” Caldwell mentioned that it was scary. “It was risky, and I’m a very calculated person. I don’t like to take risks,” she explains. With COVID, however, she

saw peoples’ homes become their sanctuary and security. She wanted to help others make a beloved space of their own. “I did a lot of self-reflection and tried to align my priorities. And I said to myself, You know what? I’m just going to go for it!” Six months later she was up and running, even partnering with other stores and community events. Located in downtown Overland Park (one of Caldwell’s favorite locations), she sells home and garden décor and items from local vendors and artisans, including fair trade, ethical, and sustainable pieces whenever possible. She feels there is a deep importance to be as sustainable as possi-


ble. “I love reusing and repurposing in unexpected ways,” she explains. With a mix of new, vintage, and antique, Caldwell says she’s able to pull all of her favorite looks into one. “I love mixing old and new. Each piece tells a story, and that story is meant to be shared. The shop is really a culmination of all of those things.” She handpicks each item, which she says not only makes the store and design process more personal, it also brings her joy to see clients find the perfect piece for their home and to share a little about her story in the process. “These are all things that I really love and appreciate and would have in my home,” she says, adding that she puts a heavy focus on plants and garden items, bringing the outdoors inside whenever possible. “I love bringing the outdoors into the rest of the shop and bringing it into the rest of the home or an unexpected space. Adding plants and natural elements is a major part of my design.” Caldwell also offers interior design services for spaces of all sizes, including new builds or small remodels. “I really hit the ground running,” she says. “It’s

been wonderful. The community in downtown Overland Park and the surrounding area have been so welcoming and supportive of the store and our family.”

“What a gem in downtown Overland Park! The owners are the epitome of Midwest nice.” The Old Mango partners with their neighboring shop, McNary’s Furniture, to offer an exclusive, custom line of handcrafted furniture made from reclaimed wood. The overstated, exaggerated, turned legs make this custom line a show-stopper. Customers agree that the unique mix of home decor, garden, and interior design services are an exciting and much-needed addition to the downtown neighborhood. Many customers are in awe of the store’s charm and character when they step into The Old Mango. Manon E. said, “What a gem in

downtown Overland Park! The owners are the epitome of Midwest nice. They gave me decorating advice, including how to hang my new hanging planter. The purchase was the finishing touch our half bath remodel needed.”

The Old Mango • 7230 W. 79th St., Overland Park, KS • 913.261.9719 • theoldmango.com • @the.old.mango

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WELLNESS

INTERMITTENT FASTING SCHEDULED EATING HABITS FOR YOUR HEALTH WRITTEN BY BETHANEY PHILLIPS

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ad diets and eating trends are nothing new—every year new health kicks come along and take the population by storm. Diets where you eat full-fat, trends where you serve cereal, meal plans where you avoid solids and go on a full-on liquid cleanse. And that’s only the beginning. But intermittent fasting is a concept that defies the trends— not only with its results, but with its lack of gimmick.

Common forms of intermittent fasting include:

Intermittent fasting is where you eat during certain times, and then don’t eat during others. In most cases this means avoiding foods or caloric drinks late at night, but the program can be customized to meet each peron’s goals.

•E at, Stop, Eat: Fast once or twice per week, then eating normally the remaining days.

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•T he 16/8 method: Fasting every day for 14-16 hours (usually overnight), then eating during the day for a period of 8-10 hours. •T he 5:2 diet: Eating regular meals five days a week, then eating light calories the remaining two, usually 500-600 calories per day.

•A lternate-day Fasting: Fast every other day. • Skipping Meals: This method al-

lows you to skip meals if you’re busy or simply aren’t hungry. These routines vary, but all include forms of intermittent fasting, where the body fuels, then burns calories. The nice thing about the practice, says dietitian Michelle ArasimDiekmann, LD, RD, is you can customize it to meet your health care and/or weight loss needs. Arasim-Diekmann works at Rejuvenate, a Kansas City health care facility that encompasses chiropractic care, mental health, and weight loss. She holds a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and has over 14 years of professional experience helping clients achieve their health goals. “It’s pretty incredible to see


how many people can benefit from [intermittent fasting],” she adds. Arasim-Diekmann says it’s important to focus on a few main things when considering intermittent fasting. Individuals should consult a health care professional to evaluate their unique goals. “It’s important to create an arsenal of getting back to healthy foods,” she says. This is especially true for anyone who might have an underlying health concern. She adds that proper mental health is key, as getting healthy is about making better choices, and changing your mindset about what’s good for the body. When you are eating (not in a fasting stage), be sure to choose high quality foods. Fueling the body with unhealthy calories will do nothing for health goals— weight loss or otherwise. Make healthy decisions with smart proteins, fruits and veggies, and grains, plus plenty of water. A way to help accomplish this is by shopping the perimeter of your grocery store. Start with produce, choosing fresh, in-season food. Seasonal foods will not only be higher in nutrients, but easier on the wallet. Then, skirt the outside of the store to avoid prepackaged foods. Proteins can be found in the meat section—Arasim-Diekmann recommends cuts that are 93 percent lean or leaner. Then it’s time for butters and oils, and finally end with good, healthy grains like quinoa and brown rice. “I highly encourage people to shop this way. It keeps things simple, and simplicity is a big part of eating,” she explains.

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Another tip she suggests is not eating after 8 pm. There are exceptions based on schedule or health issues (for instance blood sugar levels or diabetics), but in many cases 8 pm is a good rule of thumb. Finally, she says to set yourself up by creating healthy habits, things like exercise and drinking more water. The more you perform these steps, the more they will be muscle memory. It won’t be work, it will be a habit your body craves. Intermittent fasting is not a cure-all, nor is it a perfect plan for every user. Rather it’s a tool that can be adjusted based on each person’s health, lifestyle, and personal goals. Tailor it to your journey, your path, and what works for you.

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HOME & GARDEN

FIVE TIPSFALL FORGARDEN A SUCCESSFUL WRITTEN BY BRENNAN HALLOCK

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ugust has arrived, which means for most people the gardening season is winding down. All of those gardens planted in the spring are now being harvested—the growers enjoying the fruits of their labor. But what if you missed out on planting a garden in the spring? Maybe you were too busy or were out of town. Or maybe you are one of those who planted a garden in the spring, but you don’t want the gardening season to be over yet. Is it too late to plant this year? Actually, the fall can be a great time

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for growing a garden, whether you are just starting out or you are moving on to your second garden of the season. WHAT CAN YOU PLANT IN THE FALL?

Because the fall has cooler weather, you will want to plant different crops than you would plant in the spring. Tomatoes and peppers love the rainy spring weather and hot summer weather, but they won’t like the dry, cool weather that comes in the later part of the year. Fortunately, though, there are a number of plants that do well in this season.

Some plants best suited to this time of year are green beans, turnips, beans, radishes, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, carrots, lettuce, spinach, collards, kale, and leeks. If you are having a hard time choosing from such a long list, though, there are a few that are easiest to grow. Phronsie Ferrand Wood, manager of Farrand Farms, a locally owned greenhouse and garden center in Kansas City, advises, “Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much. If you’ve never gardened, start out small. Start out with what you like to eat and what you want


to grow. If you enjoy gardening and have the time and energy, you can take on more.” She recommends cabbage, beets, Swiss chard, and turnips as good starter plants for the fall. WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT ABOUT A FALL GARDEN?

If you’ve never gardened in the fall, there are some differences you should take into consideration. First, timing is very important. For deciding when to plant, you should plan backward from the average first frost date. Look at the number of days to harvest (usually listed on the seed packet) and count backward, then add two weeks because many vegetables grow more slowly as the days get shorter in the fall. Another difference is the amount you will need to water. Summer crops tend to need a lot of water, but fall crops only need to be watered about twice a week. You may want to give them more water initially and during the hot

months of August and September, but as they grow they will do better with a couple deep waterings each week rather than many light ones. WHAT CROPS MATURE FASTEST?

There are some fall crops that go from seed to table in 40 days or less. This means if you plant in early August, you can be eating the produce by midSeptember. These include arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips, and radishes. WHAT SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR WITH FALL CROPS?

There are a few pests that can ruin a nice fall garden, so it is good to prepare for these. Cabbage, broccoli, collards, and other cole crops tend to get cabbage worm, which feed on the plants. Some options for keeping these pests away include Sevin, Eight Insect Control, and Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew (which also happens to be organic).

“When you keep your garden weeded, you keep away insects and disease— that’s always a good thing,” explains Farrand Wood. “Mulch keeps out the weeds and holds in the moisture as well.” WHAT CROPS CAN SURVIVE FROST?

There are a number of vegetables that can keep growing even into late fall, when the temperatures begin to dip below freezing. These include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, Swiss chard, and turnips. If you want to garden almost into the winter, these are the crops for you.

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L ocal

GOOD EATS Austins Bar & Grill has been serving Southern Johnson County for over 34 years. Our family-owned establishments offer a fun sports bar environment to watch all the games. Fresh quality food is provided with great daily food and drink specials. Enjoy our happy hour menu 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday!

SOUTH OLATHE - 2103 E. 151st St. • 913.829.2106 NORTH OLATHE - 11180 S. Lone Elm Rd. • 913.322.2337 GARDNER - 245 Moonlight Rd. • 913.856.6965 austinsbarandgrill.com

Burnt End BBQ is a fast casual BBQ restaurant located in Overland Park. They are the tastiest of the tasty! Come in hungry and walk out satisfied. If you can’t make it in, don’t worry! They deliver and cater. Burnt End BBQ can cater any event from a simple office lunch to an old-fashioned BBQ wedding. Come in and try the best BBQ in town!

11831 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS • 913.451.8888 burntendbbqkc.com

Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen’s award-winning restaurant offers creative American cuisine, craft cocktails, and fine wines. Chef Thorne-Thomsen, chef/owner of Story, is a James Beard Award Nominee for Best Chef Midwest! Enjoy patio, bar, or dining room seating at Story. Featured menu items include: Alaskan halibut, beef short ribs, lobster tagliatelle, soft shell crabs, and more. Story also offers monthly wine dinners, a fried chicken special on Wednesday nights, and a burger special on Thursday nights. Visit storykc.com to learn more.

3931 W. 69th Terr., Prairie Village, KS • 913.236.9955 info@storykc.com • storykc.com

Our food is simple, elegant, and honest. The menu is inspired by a combination of American, Greek, French, and Italian cuisines. Our commitment to freshness and quality is first and foremost, as we use the season’s best offerings and buy from local farmers and purveyors whenever possible. The service team at YaYa’s consistently aims to provide the best service and complete guest satisfaction. We’re proud to be able to meet each special request of our guests, whether it’s food, beverage, or a special setting.

7021 W. 135th St., Overland Park, KS • 913.345.1111 yayaskc.com

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DISH

BAMBOO PENNY’S IN LEAWOOD’S PARK PLACE

WRITTEN BY BETHANEY PHILLIPS / PHOTO COURTESTY OF BAMBOO PENNY’S

Thai native chef Penny Mufaka has been cooking her entire life. During childhood, she helped her mother prepare and sell street food to locals on the streets of Thailand. Her sense of adventure brought those talents to the United States.

there are families who come in, while at night the vibe turns toward craft cocktails such as seasonal offerings like a lemongrass basil margarita or a spicy pineapple mule. Doug says that every space has Penny’s feel, as she designed everything from flower arrangements to colors to the menu itself.

In 1994, she began cooking in the Kansas City area. This led to the opportunity to purchase her first restaurant, Thai House, in 2013. Together with her husband, Doug Mufaka, she went into business—with Chef Penny running the kitchen and Doug in charge of logistics. With their newest adventure, they have the same setup. Bamboo Penny’s is the traditional Thai food, but more detailed, more upscale, and more elegant. As Penny says, it’s the steakhouse of Thai restaurants—complete with delicious dishes like Chilean sea bass, mango duck, and crying tiger steak. Plates are lined with edible flowers sourced locally, and other local items like produce and brown eggs. “It’s really good; it makes a big difference,” Penny says. “It’s better quality and delivered straight from the farm.” Each dish has Penny’s unique (and tasty) twist and can be ordered custom to suit your needs. Penny also makes requested items, being sure to check a person’s allergies and affinity for spice before doing so. Chef Penny creates her menu with

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traditional Thai dishes in mind, all with her personal touch such as citrus and a heavy dose of tropical flavors. From cocktails to small plates to lunches, elaborate dinners, and desserts, she has put her expert touch into every recipe. “I love to experiment with something different. I want to make my customers happy.” Their biggest seller is Pad Thai, says Doug, explaining that the dish accounts for 34 percent of their sales. “It’s just so popular,” he explains, adding that Penny puts her own touch by placing it on an egg crepe. “It’s a little bit of artwork, showing off and serving it that way. But first you eat with your eyes, so how it’s presented matters.” Bamboo Penny’s is also home to rooftop space, with a retractable top and the Bamboo Room. During the day

Located in Leawood’s Park Place, the location is ideal for families and coordinates with other events within Park Place, such as outdoor movies and Saturday concerts. “I guarantee they are going to love it. People love the vibe,” says Chef Penny. “They are really going to have a good time.”

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HEALTH

GOING DOWN THERE

YOUR EMBARASSING GYNECOLOGIST QUESTIONS ANSWERED WRITTEN BY JULIE BURTON

G

ynecologist appointment” is probably not your favorite day on the calendar, but it’s a necessary one. It’s the only doctor that gets real up close and personal, so it’s easy for any woman to get anxious before heading to the gyno. We sat down with Dr. Jessica Pullen from Women’s Clinic of Johnson County and asked her the embarrassing questions for you. Her answers may make that next doctor’s appointment a little easier.

mend getting a wax or using a bikini clipper. We see so many women with ingrown hairs and folliculitis.

SKC: Are there different size

that are normal. Vaginal discharge is affected by your diet, lifestyle, and your activities. If there is a smell that’s foul or concerning, we want to check that out. I think women are more self-conscious about the smell than we really notice.

speculums?

Dr. Pullen: Yes, there are. There are

reassure us that every vagina size is normal?

metal speculums with two different builds. And plastic speculums that come in different sizes and shapes. It’s not associated with height. The vaginal cavity is larger after babies. Sometimes it’s just bone structure too. It’s nothing to be worried about.

Dr. Pullen:

SKC: Do you prefer women to shave

SIMPLYkc Magazine: Can you

All sizes are completely normal. I’ve seen tens of thousands of vaginas. To complete training, you have to do a minimum of 200 vaginal deliveries. Most programs are set up to do vaginal deliveries your first year. Then you do a minimum of 200

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C-sections your second year. You also must do 50 hysterectomies. And that’s not including the patients you see in the clinic. They want you to see as many patients as possible. So yeah, getting into the tens of thousands is easy to do. You’re normal.

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or wax before an appointment?

Dr. Pullen:

We don’t care at all. We’ve seen it all. Typically, I recommend against shaving with a razor. If you’re going to remove hair, I recom-

SKC: The smell … do you notice a smell when doing a pelvic exam?

Dr. Pullen: There are different smells

SKC: What is normal vaginal dis-

charge? When should I see a doctor?

Dr. Pullen:

The cervical mucus changes with the cycle. Normal discharge should be clear to white— maybe a slight yellow. But there shouldn’t be a strong odor, itching, or irritation. If you have something like cottage cheese consistency, you should get checked out.


SKC: I’m not interested in sex

SKC: Is it possible to get an

Dr. Pullen:

Dr. Pullen: It depends on the brand of

anymore—should I see a doctor about this? It can be very normal. It can ebb and flow with your lifecycle depending on your stress and whether or not you’ve gone through menopause. A large component of this is psychological. There are sex therapists for that. And sometimes it’s because of pain. There are things we can do to fix the pain. As you get closer to menopause it’s probably hormonal, and there are things we can do to help that too.

SKC: How does the vagina change after menopause? Is there anything you wish women knew about going into menopause?

Dr. Pullen: A lot of women don’t real-

ize there are significant changes in the vagina as we go through menopause. We describe menopause as one year without a period. Menopause is typically associated with vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy. The vagina loses its moisture and gets thin, and women can have pain or bleeding with intercourse. There are things we can do to help. The earlier we start helping you the less severe it will get. The other thing is that we like to see anyone having any kind of bleeding after menopause because oftentimes it’s the first sign of uterine cancer.

SKC: How far up can you see inside of us? What exactly do you see with the help of a speculum?

Dr. Pullen: We can see the cervix and

the entirety of the vagina. When we do a bi-manual exam—when we put two fingers inside the vagina and push on the abdomen—we can feel the uterus and we can feel the ovaries. But we cannot see them. We do a lot of pelvic ultrasounds too to give us another view that’s not too invasive.

abnormal pap if we had intercourse the night (or hours) before? solution you’re using for pap smears. Some brands specifically say the patient should not have intercourse 24 hours before because it will interfere with the pap results. A lot of doctors have gone away from using those types of brands. There are many brands that don’t require a patient to abstain from intercourse, so it doesn’t affect the pap. And usually, we can only tell if we put the vaginal discharge under a microscope and we’re able to see semen. You can see the sperm because they’re still alive within 48 hours. We can’t typically tell just by looking during an exam unless there’s signs of abuse.

SKC: What’s the most common STI in women?

Dr. Pullen: Most

common is HPV. It’s so common that most people don’t think of it as an STI, and it’s common for your immune system to clear HPV. There are several types of HPV. We test for the ones that cause cervical cancer, and if you have one of those types some women will get a colposcopy. We recommend the vaccine for men and women. Next most common is chlamydia. It’s an infection where most women will have abnormal discharge, irritation, or pain. They can get pelvic inflammatory syndrome from chlamydia too and that can get women pretty sick. Left untreated, it can cause problems with fallopian tubes and cause infertility. It’s more common in the 18-28 age range, so we usually screen for that unless they request us not to. It’s treated by antibiotics.

but it can’t be cured. It’s very painful so people know when they have it. But they tend to spread it right before an outbreak.

SKC: Why don’t biopsies get pain

blocks? When will we get pain control for things like colposcopy?

Dr. Pullen: In my personal experience,

patients don’t have a significant amount of pain from colposcopy. It’s more uncomfortable from the speculum sitting inside you for a longer amount of time so that pressure is definitely there. If you had a colposcopy and it’s abnormal, you’d also have a leep, and this requires four injections into the cervix. The biopsies tend to be the pain equivalent of two hard pinches. Most women would prefer to get two pinches rather than being stuck with a needle four times. Some doctors use a topical anesthetic, which I use. If I have someone who is anxious, we can give them something to relax. A lot of doctors will offer that too. We try to make it as comfortable and fast as possible.

SKC: Is there anything else you wish more women knew?

Dr. Pullen: I think it’s important to go

to the gynecologist every year. With the pap smear guidelines changing, some women don’t think they need to go in every year, but it’s important that they do because there are things other than cervical cancer that can go wrong. It’s good to have a doctor look inside the vagina to make sure you’re healthy. And get a breast exam every year too. If you have a question, ask it. It’s very unlikely someone hasn’t asked it before. That’s our job. We do everything we can to make you comfortable.

Herpes is very common also. There are treatments to take care of symptoms,

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PARENTING

ALARM CLOCKS, BOOKS, AND DESKS HELPING YOUR CHILD RE-ADJUST TO THE SCHOOL DAY WRITTEN BY LAUREN DREHER

Routine. Parents either love it or hate it. Regardless, I’ve come to find that most kids thrive on routine, or at least a little bit of it. The parents I talked to recently about their kids going back to school say it helps their kids transition back into the school year. And there were multiple tips and tricks they gave that may help your kids ease back into the swing of things.

Tips for starting the school year •T he alarm clock: Many kids get to sleep in during the summer.

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They are now used to staying up late and not having to answer to an alarm clock. When it comes time to go back, they might be excited, but the sound of that alarm and actually having to get out of bed might be more of a struggle than anticipated. Multiple moms suggested reintroducing an earlier bedtime a couple weeks before. That way, everybody gets a chance to re-acclimate to the new schedule. •S chool shopping: One thing I always loved was buying school supplies. We’re all busy, but making a special trip with

the kids to get the needed supplies and letting them pick (or at least help pick) the supplies can help get them excited for that first week of school. •F un lunches: If your child takes their lunch to school, make it fun for them. Just like getting fun items for travel, get them something they don’t normally get. •F riends: Kids are excited to go back and see their friends. If your child is younger, sometimes setting up some play time with their friends in the weeks before will get them excited to see those kids again during the day.


• Set expectations: When starting something new, I make a point to talk to my kids about it before so I can set expectations and give them a heads up. That way, they are better able to roll with the changes.

Tips for kids who struggle with change Some kids adjust back into the school routine easily, but not all. If you have a child who struggles with anxiety, here are some tips for you. •M eet the teacher: Some kids get nervous and anxious thinking about their school day, especially if they are going to a new school. They are nervous about getting to their class and how they will interact with their teacher. Take them to meet their teacher alone

so they can have one-on-one time. Let their teacher know so they can be prepared. This way, when the school day comes and they have first-day jitters, they are prepared. •W alk through the classes: When I was in high school, one thing that always made me nervous was getting to my classes on time. Every year, I would print out my schedule, go to the school and walk to all of my classrooms so I could mentally figure out when I had time to go to my locker between classes and still be on time. When the first day of school came around, I would know where I was going and could relax. •P repare the night before: Anxiety or not, have your kids lay out their clothes the night before. To this day, I lay out my clothes

before so I don’t waste time in the morning sorting through clothes I don’t want to wear. This way, I know I have clothes ready and anything else that is needed during the day. I don’t have to worry in the morning and end up walking out the door late. Getting back into the routine of the school year can be stressful as you switch gears from your summer routine (or lack of routine). There is no routine that always works for every family, and It’s up to you to figure out what works best for your kids. But hopefully some of these tips and tricks will help you and give you some ideas. If you’re an anxious parent, I suggest getting started as early as possible so you can ease yourself into the new routine as well and the first days and weeks go as smoothly as possible.

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BECAUSE I SAID SO...

SWIPE RIGHT WRITTEN BY JULIE BURTON / PHOTO BY JAMI BOWMAN

I don’t know who’s reading these words. You could be a married mom of toddlers. You could be a divorced dad of teenagers. You could be my cousin sitting in the doctor’s office. You could be a grandparent. Or not a parent at all. Maybe you’re 13. Or 113. I don’t know. I don’t know you. I’ll tell you who I am. I’m a single mom of teenagers. Single: I’m living in the world of dating apps. In the era of social communication—we meet people on apps now. You’re swiping right (I’m interested) and swiping left (I’m not interested) based on photos and some basic information.

I’ve been dumped twice without even going on a date. They call that being ghosted. We set up a time to have coffee or happy hour and boom! that cute KCMO firefighter and radio DJ disappeared. But let’s back up a little before we discuss which radio stations we’re not listening to and checking our smoke detector batteries. Some say swiping left and right isn’t fair because you’re judging a person strictly based on a few photos. It’s true. You are judging someone based on their looks. You’re also judging people on their looks at Target, a bar, the guy pulling up next to you at a red light after he cut you off. You know within seconds whether you like someone. But this is where single and married men need a little help on the dating apps. Married men? Yep. They’re polygamous men— married but also having open relationships. I personally don’t like sharing, so those are a no for me. Men need dating app help. Feel free to pass along this information or take notes. Or read for your enjoyment because you’ve found the one.

You would not attempt to do the model staredown or stick your tongue out. Be alone. Having a group photo is fine, but not as your main profile photo. It’s rolling the dice as I scroll down to figure out if you’re the hot one or not. Take off the sunglasses and hat. Come on, man. Who are you? Ted Bundy? Don’t say “Looking for a travel buddy.” With gas prices at $10 a gallon, you’re saying, “I have money” without saying, “I have money.” Being financially secure is one thing. But flaunting that you’re Mr. Worldwide is another. Don’t give restrictions on your bio. “I like active women who are in shape.” “I don’t like to talk on here, just meet me for coffee.” “Crazy need not apply.” These all seem demanding. Stop it! Show current photos. Standing with the Twin Towers in the background? Nice try.

Tips for men on dating apps:

Don’t hold a fish or take a gym selfie. Women don’t care about fishing. Women also don’t care about you getting your phone out at the gym to take a mirror selfie. I might be wrong, but I’m probably right.

Smile. If you’re being introduced to a potential date in person, you would smile.

No bathroom selfies. Just don’t show the toilet, man. Geez!

Julie Burton is an Overland Park mom, writer, K-State lover, and bacon-hater. She is a blogger and contributing author to the humor book, But Did You Die?: Setting the Parenting Bar Low. Burton’s also been named one of the Today Show’s “funniest parents.” And yes, she really does hate bacon. Please don’t drop her as a friend. Follow Julie at: julieburton.blog • facebook.com/julieburtonwriter • twitter.com/ksujulie • instagram.com/ksujulie

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A Not-So-Ordinary Book Discussion

BY TIFFANY KILLOREN

WELCOME BACK … TO THE SCHOOL LIBRARY! The kids might not want to hear the sound of the school bus making its way down the street, but parents everywhere are dancing a little gig that those little minds will soon be stimulated on a schedule once again. As a writer, my hope is that the library is one of the students’ favorite places to visit during the school day. To help with your children’s book selections, I’ve asked for some help from those who will soon be putting on that new backpack for their walk to the school bus.

Brooklyn, Age 9: Junie B. Jones Books (Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus, 1992, et seq.): I mean, who doesn’t love a Stupid Smelly Bus or a Little Monkey Business? Since 1992, the Junie B. Jones books have been connecting with young readers via this little girls’ exploits, hard life lessons, and shenanigans as she navigates kindergarten and her journeys in elementary school. We all had books from our childhood that made us laugh; my soft-spot memories include Amelia Bedelia and Ramona Quimby. It makes me happy to think that Junie B. Jones is bringing smiles to new generations and, with almost 30 books in the series, the joy can continue throughout the school year. (Recommended for ages 6-9) Claire, Age 12: The One and Only Bob (Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao, 2022): A sequel to the ever-popular The One and Only Ivan, this tale follows Ivan’s friend, Bob, as he and his friends embark on an adventure that takes them to unexpected places. A sweet story about friendship, this book and its predecessor are grade school and middle school favorites among both students and teachers. And, if your young readers love these stories, make sure they check out Crenshaw on a trip to the school library, which is another Applegate novel.

Finn, Age 13: The Unwanteds Series (Lisa McMann, 2012): An engaging series of books for even the most reluctant reader, The Unwanteds series follows a 13-year-old boy who is separated from his twin during an annual designation of the Wanteds (identified as strong and intelligent) and the Unwanteds (creatives). Chosen by this 13-year-old because of its ability to hook readers quickly into the story, The Unwanteds seven-book series is a perfect ongoing literary saga to launch into a new school year and keep those readers reading. (Recommended for ages 8-12) Max, Age 15: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (John Boyne, 2007): An absolutely heartbreaking story about innocent souls caught up in a horrific time, this book follows the relationship that develops between two young boys—one the son of an SS commandant and the other a concentration camp prisoner. Heart-wrenching at its core, this is a story about how young hearts see the world and one another, and how we all should see the world. A must-read, Max considers this a book (and movie) that everyone should experience, even though it’s difficult. (Recommended for ages 12-17)

(Recommended for ages 8-12)

Tiffany Killorenis a local author and lover of the written word. Her novel, GOOD WILL, was released in 2020 and she is always thinking of new stories to tell. Follow her at @readandthreads on Instagram for book and life musings as she tries to balance career, family and her passion for writing one step - or word - at a time. PHOTO BY MOLLY KUPLEN

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Who,

PHOTO BY IMAGO DEI PHOTOGRAPHY

WHAT, WHERE

Meet Rebecca Welsh Who: Rebecca Welsh is founder

and CEO of the HALO Foundation, which stands for Helping Art Liberate Orphans. This nonprofit organization serves over 3,000 children around the world. They provide housing, healing through art, and education to children in greatest need. HALO is headquartered in Kansas City, where they serve over 700 homeless and atrisk youth each year. They are currently building a new learning center, a boys home, and a girls home in Kansas City.

What:

Welsh explains, “When I was a young girl, I learned about the orphan crisis, and it was always something I was drawn to.” After college, she served six months in Honduras. She traveled on a Mercy Ship, which is a charity hospital that sails to provide free health care in developing countries. “While there, I met a young girl named Daisy who was living on the street. She was only six years old, and I had never seen a child struggling to that degree. She had no shoes, numerous infected cuts on her legs and feet, and bald spots on her head from poor nutrition. All she wanted was a drink!” Welsh says. When Welsh returned home to Kansas City in 2002, she ran a martial arts school of 250 students

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where she taught life skills with self-defense. Her students were inspired to take action to help children like Daisy, so they held fundraising events and initially raised $5,000. This inspired her to do more. Throughout her life, Welsh has visited orphanages, bringing coloring books, paper, and crayons and working with the children to draw themselves and draw what they would like to look like when they grow up. She believes art is truly healing. “I knew that helping children like Daisy was going to be what I dedicated my life to. HALO was started in 2004 and has helped countless children around the world. The youth we support have the goal of thriving beyond their circumstances. I have always heard that children age out of local youth shelters in Kansas City, and they have no place to go and no resources. We believe every child deserves the foundation of a family,” she explains. Her hobbies include family time, piano, reading, writing, and being a kid with her three kids.

Where:

FAVORITE PLACE TO DINE Caffetteria, La Bodega, and

Blue Koi. I have fond memories of taking our HALO staff to Caffetteria. Their owner, Jo Marie Scagglia, has such a fantastic story. Caffetteria has been a long-time HALO supporter as well. La Bodega has a great atmosphere. I have spent many nights on their patio sharing tapas and sangria. Blue Koi—Their tofu and awesome sauce is in my top 10 of all time. FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP West Bottoms Shops. I remember when there was nothing in the West Bottoms. HALO offices out of the Livestock Exchange Building and we have watched it evolve into such an amazing community. I like the unique shops and makers who put together such wonderful pieces in their shops. FAVORITE HIDDEN GEMS IN KC Green Lady Lounge. Great music, fantastic drinks! What more could you ask for? FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE OUTOF-TOWN GUESTS Kemper Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and Royals and Chiefs Games!


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GOOD TASTES

YOU SAY TOH-MĀ-TOE, I SAY TOH-MAH-TOE

WRITTEN BY GINA REARDON / PHOTO BY MELANIE MCDOWELL

Actually, I say tomāto (long a), and I am celebrating tomato season. When I was young, my dad grew tomatoes in our Seattle backyard. It was not the best climate for tomato growing, but he was determined that my sister and I would enjoy them as much as he did. Those ruby gems picked fresh from the vine were wasted on us. But once my palate changed, it was like the sun came out in that ripe, juicy fruit! I am one of the disadvantaged gardeners with not enough sunny spots in my yard to plant even a few tomato vines, much less grow miniature versions in pots. But one thing I’ve noticed is that all the tiny varieties have become more plentiful and f lavorful. They are an essential household staple. I love to roast these beauties, a method so simple your five-year-old can do it. But the ways to use them are endless. The roasting method intensifies the f lavors. Here are some of my favorites:

•G arnishing a wedge salad along with crisp bacon, scallions, homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons •S tirred into pasta with fresh basil, olive oil, a little crushed red pepper and parmesan cheese (or scooped on top of cacio e pepe or mac and cheese) • As an alternative to sliced tomatoes on a BLT • As a fresh salsa topping on top of grilled salmon •A s a side accompaniment to grilled steak, along with grilled asparagus

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•W ith scrambled eggs, or tucked inside of a French omelet with fresh greens •S erved with grilled bread, homemade ricotta, and other grilled vegetables for a build-your-own bruschetta snack •O n top of a white pizza: Using your favorite pizza crust recipe, brush with garlic oil; sprinkle with crushed red pepper, fontina (or fresh mozzarella cheese), roasted cherry tomatoes; season with salt and pepper; bake; and top with fresh basil leaves when melty.


Roasted Cherry & Miniature Tomatoes SERVES 4

Ingredients

Preparation

12 ounces fresh cherry or other miniature tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

minum foil. Toss tomatoes with olive oil. Spread

Kosher salt and fresh coarse ground pepper

evenly on baking sheet and turn the cut side

Sprigs of fresh thyme

ground pepper. Sprinkle with thyme sprigs. Let

sheet with a piece of parchment paper or alu-

up. Sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and fresh rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked through and a little jammy. Let cool and use in everything!

Gina Reardon, former owner of Catering by Design and culinary philanthropist, leads the KC team for No Kid Hungry, culinary professionals and community members focused on supporting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Funds raised help connect the nation’s 16 million low-income children with more school breakfast, lunch, and summer meals.

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r a e D

KACIE AN OVERSTAYED GUEST

I’m married (15 years) and my wife and I have two sons. Earlier this summer, my wife’s sister asked if she could live with us for a little bit. She moved to KC from Omaha. I was cool with letting her stay until she found a job in KC. It’s been several months and there’s no sign of her even looking for a job. She’s living here rent-free and never pitches in to help with food. I told my wife her sister needs to start pitching in if she continues living with us. She’s a great help with watching our sons and giving us date nights, but that’s it. How do I kick her out without just being mean about it?

Call the cops for trespassing! Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but so is freeloading. You asked how to kick her out without being mean about it—I get it. I do. She’s family, right? Family is supposed to help each other in times of need. But she’s also a fully functioning adult. My advice is don’t go to your wife about her sister. That clearly didn’t help because you’re writing to me. Your next step is to sit down with the sister. She’s an adult and she should understand your frustration. Or maybe she doesn’t. This is the time to sit down with her and help her with her résumé, with looking for jobs, getting a headhunter, finding a place to rent—whatever she needs. Get the ball moving to get her living an independent life. It will take some work, but that’s what family is for. Or you can always call the cops.

If you have any questions you’d like Kacie to answer, submit them to contact@simplykcmag.com.

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APP OF THE MONTH

1PASSWORD

IF YOU STRUGGLE TO REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORDS, THIS APP HAS YOU COVERED

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AUGUST 2022


Did You Know? Elephants eat over 600 pounds of food each day? The ongoing pandemic has profoundly affected the volunteer efforts and tourism to Elephant Nature Park, an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center in Northern Thailand. You can support these efforts (as well as supporting a local artist) by purchasing a print with the Photography for a Cause campaign. Half of the proceeds on fine art prints will be donated to ENP to help offset some of the costs to feed, care for, and protect the elephants, dogs, cats, as well as the many other creatures at this incredible rescue in Chiang Mai, Thailand. www.melaniejoi.com/pfc for more information.

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AUGUST 2022


FURNITURE

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