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A clean slate. A fresh start.

April 9, 2012

News & Notes


I am beyond moved by all your kind comments and words of support and encouragement, both in the post and on Facebook, in response to my announcement last week about my Hashimoto’s disease diagnosis. Thank you all so much, every one of you. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me. I am speechless.

In the coming weeks and months, I promise to share more information with you, from my treatment to my diet to the progress of my symptoms. But today, I want to introduce you to…my new home! Matt and I moved over the weekend, and while we’re still not totally unpacked, this gorgeous loft apartment in the Crossroads arts district of downtown Kansas City, Missouri is already feeling like home. I’ve been craving a clean slate, a fresh start, to match my new determination to beat my Hashimoto’s disease (or at least get it under control), and having a brand new living space (after 6 years in the old place) feels like a breath of fresh air.

Welcome to our new home. πŸ™‚

The living room:

The entire apartment has polished concrete floors. No more vacuuming!

The bedroom:

The office:

Bathroom #1:

Bathroom #2:

The hallway leading from the front door, past the bedroom and first bathroom, into the living room:

The apartment features lots of exposed brick, concrete, and piping…

…and the light fixtures are new and modern.

I saved the best for last…THE KITCHEN!

If you recall what the kitchen in my old place looked like, then it should come as no surprise that I nearly hyperventilated upon touring this place.

As great as the whole apartment is, the kitchen is THE thing that sealed the deal for me.

And finally, my other favorite part: the view.

Both the living room and the kitchen have huge windows overlooking downtown Kansas City.

There’s the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (with the spires of Bartle Hall rising up behind it) and the famous Marriott featuring multicolored lights all over the south side of the building that “put on a show” every night…

…and we have a view of tons of other historic buildings downtown. Squee!

On top of that, a bajillion restaurants (including joints like FΓΌD, Blue Bird Bistro, and the soon-to-be new CafΓ© Gratitude), bars, clubs, coffee shops, arts and crafts stores, yoga studios, fashion boutiques, theaters, art galleries, and more are within walking distance. Crown Center, Liberty Memorial, Union Station, Martini Corner, the Westside neighborhood, Union Hill, and the historic Freight House are right around the corner from us. The Central Business District, the Sprint Center, the Power & Light District, Quality Hill, 18th & Vine, the West Bottoms, and City Market are just a few minutes away, as well as Midtown, Westport, and the Country Club Plaza in the other direction. We’re a hop, a skip, and a jump away from I-35.

In other words, AWESOME. The status update I posted on Facebook on Friday night, our first night in the new place, says it all:

I’m standing in my new apartment watching the sun set over the downtown Kansas City skyline. Hundreds of people are roaming around outside at First Fridays, a monthly art crawl. A food cart and a giant telescope have been set up on the sidewalk across the street, and the sound of someone playing bagpipes is wafting through my open window. Downtown living already rocks.

I can’t wait to show you what it looks like once we finish unpacking and arranging the place!

In my next post, though, I plan to talk about the details of the autoimmune/thyroid diet my doctor started me on last week. I know a lot of you have been curious!

QUESTION: Have you ever lived an urban setting? Have you ever wanted to?


3 years ago this week…
March leftovers
White bean & broccoli pasta toss
2 years ago this week…
No-bake almond butter balls
1 year ago this week…
P90X weeks 11-13: the wrap-up

86 Comments leave one →
  1. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    April 9, 2012 9:27 am

    Wow! That place is amazing! I love super-modern concrete lofts. I cannot wait to see what you cook up in that HUGE kitchen. Even with tons of counter space, the shape of that kitchen is just screaming for an extra huge island to set out food and drink for entertaining. I’m sure you’re already decorating the whole place in your head.

    Living in a fun part of town is awesome, there’s no way I could move back out to the burbs now. Being able to walk to dinner or even just stroll along looking in shop windows really makes me feel like a part of my community. Congrats to you and Matt in your new place!

    • April 9, 2012 9:40 am

      You read my mind! I’ve been drooling over this one kitchen island that has drawers that slide both ways (if that makes sense)…so cool!

      Agreed! I really wish I could drink right now, because there are so many cool bars and pubs just a short walk away. There’s even – get this – an alcoholic snow-cone bar (yup, that’s all they do – snowcone machines with different types of alcohol line a whole wall, and they make crazy iced concoctions) just up the street!

      • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
        April 9, 2012 9:49 am

        Boozy snowcones! O___O

  2. April 9, 2012 9:40 am

    I live downtown in a city right now and most of the time I love it! I’m not much of a suburb person, I hate how long it takes to get anywhere when you are so far away from everything. I rely on public transit, which is SO much easier when are you near a city center. Enjoy the new place!

    • April 9, 2012 9:42 am

      I haven’t even thought about public transit – we barely had that option out in the ‘burbs, but you’re right, here we could actually get around exclusively by bus if we wanted to!

  3. April 9, 2012 9:47 am

    OMG. So jealous. I live in a tiny apartment in Provence, and while I knew that would have to be the sacrifice I made when I moved to France (living spaces are simply smaller) – sometimes I just want to tear my hair out. Your apartment is so beautiful! Also, I didn’t realize Kansas City was so pretty. Now I regret not going there for undergrad when I had the chance!

    Also, you have a bathtub – what I wouldn’t give for a bathtub…

    • April 9, 2012 9:50 am

      I bet living in Provence has other perks, though πŸ™‚ Are the farmers markets as wonderful as I imagine them to be?

      Kansas City IS beautiful! I don’t know why we get such a bad rap. We’re bigger (and, IMHO, prettier) than St. Louis, Minneapolis, and many other “big” Midwestern cities. Come visit sometime! πŸ˜‰

      • April 9, 2012 10:22 am

        It depends on where you are, but yes, the farmers markets in my city are filled with local produce and it’s awesome.

  4. jameedyches permalink
    April 9, 2012 10:11 am

    I LOVE THE APARTMENT! So killer. You deserve it!

  5. April 9, 2012 10:13 am

    Wow, this is a beautiful apartment! I love the sinks in both of the bathrooms, and bathtub…and the long hallway, but most of all I love love love the kitchen. A kitchen made in heaven! And the view is beautiful too.

    I am from a city of 2-million, not from the out-skirts either, so I am for sure a city girl. Since then I’ve lived in several cities (again in the city) in the US, various European countries, and Kenya…I’ve also lived in suburbs, which was definitely something different (took a while to get used to, though it became normal eventually, I still take the city-feel over it any time) and mega-tiny Kenyan villages (that was HARD!). As much as I love nature and all, I am certainly a city person! A perfect would be a city where nature is accessible easily being all around you or very close by.

    • April 9, 2012 10:16 am

      I totally agree! I feel like a city girl myself (even though I’ve lived in the suburbs much more than in the city), but I do love having plenty of parks and trails nearby. Luckily KC has a nice mix.

      I ❀ my new kitchen! πŸ˜€

  6. Maria Gilbert permalink
    April 9, 2012 10:15 am

    I did a loft tour in Denver when I lived there and always wanted to live in one! Perfect as a couple’s place, enjoy and congrats!

  7. April 9, 2012 10:27 am

    I started working in downtown OKC about 3 years ago and love being “urban.” About to buy a house that’s nearby just to be close to the city’s core. Love it! Wish I could be in a loft apt but with a family of 6 that’s a bit unrealistic. 10 years from now, however…. πŸ™‚

    • April 9, 2012 10:29 am

      Whoa! Yes, a loft to fit six people would be tough to find πŸ˜› But I’m glad you’re finding a house in the area you like!

  8. April 9, 2012 10:29 am

    Oh….PS – Am very curious about your new diet and KUDOS for coming out. I went almost-vegan in January and am still a bit careful about talking about it on my public networks. I do PR/SM for a restaurant group, and though work has been nothing but supportive, I’m still a bit shy about it.

    • April 9, 2012 10:31 am

      Oh, I hear ya. Just know that you don’t “owe it” to anyone to talk about your diet – it’s your business until/unless you decide to discuss it with others. ❀

  9. April 9, 2012 10:56 am

    Stellar new place, guys! We moved in Feb from the suburbs to downtown and have been loving it. We love being able to walk to so many restaurants, great parks, and even the grocery store! Enjoy unpacking – can’t wait to see what you do in that kitchen!

  10. April 9, 2012 11:12 am

    Wow!!! I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us πŸ™‚

  11. fitnessoversixty permalink
    April 9, 2012 11:16 am

    Beautiful! I wish you every happiness. I get it about the kitchen! WOW!

  12. April 9, 2012 11:32 am

    Hey Amber! I’m just catching up on the Hashi disease post. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that!!!!! But I’m glad to see you’ve found a doctor who can help. Good luck with elimination diet. It definitely does not sound easy (especially the no-booze rule and no nuts).

    The apartment is FABULOUS!!!!!! I’m so jealous of that kitchen. OMG! And the bathrooms are pretty stellar too. I have polished concrete floors, and I love them. Since I have 8 furry friends living with me, not having to vacumn is a lifesaver.

    • April 9, 2012 1:32 pm

      No booze, no nuts, and no legumes are the three worst things about this diet. 😦

      The apt rocks! Now you just have to come visit. πŸ˜‰

  13. April 9, 2012 11:36 am

    Excited! If I can convince some folks to have my work face west, you will be able to see my artwork on those two billboards to the right of the Kauffman Center this fall! (in your pic, they’re currently black with a big moon image)!

  14. Karen/So Fla permalink
    April 9, 2012 11:52 am

    Your place looks like it could be in New York! So chic. Love it. Beautiful view too! Good for you!

  15. April 9, 2012 12:52 pm

    Soooo….I am jealous. πŸ™‚ My dream has always been to live in a super modern, high ceiling loft in the center of the city, one that is spacious. Most of the ones within affordability are always tiny and cramped. Your kitchen is HUGE! You look like you have tons of space. I don’t think this will ever happen for me unless hubby gets a much higher paying job in a larger city (he hates Kansas City and thinks the downtown living stinks in this city, lol…), like NYC or Chicago…THEN I’ll get my dream downtown loft apartment. I do admit to loving my yard and having the animals come in at night, and I am only a few miles from downtown (in NKC, so can ride a bike to River Market), but I am also a city girl at heart. I love being so close to everything. Wow, this is a perfect fresh start for you! I’m going to show your apartment to my husband…see if I can do some convincing, hehe. πŸ™‚ I’ve had my eye on the River Market area since I moved to K.C., but I can never find anything big enough for the right price. I did find an empty building, about 5 stories, and told hubs we could just buy it and turn the entire thing into a giant house!

    • April 9, 2012 1:36 pm

      Psh, your hubby’s wrong – downtown living here is awesome! We looked at some places near River Market too – some of those have INCREDIBLE views. Life in the ‘burbs has its perks, but life downtown is pretty amazing so far. πŸ™‚

      • April 9, 2012 2:55 pm

        Lol, I know. πŸ™‚ He just doesn’t like Kansas City…except for the BBQ. He loves Chicago, and that’s where he wants to go if something opens up for him. He’s lived in huge cities like Harrare, Zimbabwe (where he grew up), Paris, and London, so he’s a bit snobbish, hahaha. To be honest…I wouldn’t want to live in Paris. Visiting was fun, but living…not so much unless I am ever loaded. But then it would just be South of France all year long for me! Yes, the public transit is incredibly organized and easy to use (no car ever needed), but the living space is the size of a closet and for the price of Manhattan apartments, even worse. And the kitchens and bathrooms are always tiny. I’m okay with ‘smaller’ cities that are more cost efficient with larger space. That’s my issue…I need TONS of space, open rooms, and three bedrooms…and yes, a spacious kitchen. It’s hard to find that package at the right price…oh,and I MUST be close to Nature, must be a park very nearby. Kansas City is definitely great about that. (That’s why I also love River Market…it’s right by the river.) To get space in a city like Manhattan that is near the water or a park, it’s MILLIONS of dollars if you don’t want to live in a shoebox.
        Anyhow, congrats on the new space…love the kitchen. That will be great for entertaining, esp. once you can start easing off your elimination diet. πŸ™‚

      • April 9, 2012 3:03 pm

        I am the same way! SPACE is far and away the most important consideration in my lifestyle. I don’t care if I drive a crap car and wear thrift stores clothing all my life, as long as I have a spacious place to live!

        KC (and the Midwest in general) is simply THE place to get the most bang for your buck, square-footage-wise. As much as I love Chicago, San Fran, Western Europe, etc. they can’t hold a candle to the Midwest when it comes to real estate value. I’m happy here! The only other place I’d consider moving, at this point, is Dallas (or perhaps some other big city in Texas).

        • April 9, 2012 4:45 pm

          Like maybe Austin or San Antonio, so we can hang out? πŸ™‚ Actually, I’ll come visit you in any Texas city.

        • April 9, 2012 4:48 pm

          Hehe! Matt’s company wants him to move to Austin SO badly, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility. πŸ˜‰ That said, I’m sure I’ll be visiting Dallas at some point this summer – I’ll let you know when I have a trip planned!

  16. Ellen Primm permalink
    April 9, 2012 1:00 pm

    Can’t send enough good wishes to you and Matt on your new loft, upcoming marriage and new health challenges for you. On your health challenge, just remember you are stronger than you ever know that you are and all of the people that you inspire through your writing are all in your never silent cheering section. We love you.

  17. bitt permalink
    April 9, 2012 1:02 pm

    Wow, amazing place! I love the bathrooms too. A good bathroom is important to me. That new kitchen is amazing too, I am sure you will be able to create so much more in there but your old kitchen shows that kitchen size is really not an excuse for not eating well.

    Loved that your city got featured in VegNews roundup today, hope that vidicates you on that other article awhile back.

    Cafe Gratitude in KC? Confusing to me a little because they were closing places down for awhile, is this a different owner franchising? Or something of that sort? Great news for you of course. Dang I may have to come visit. I’ll sleep in your tub. πŸ˜‰

    • April 9, 2012 1:39 pm

      The tub is seriously big enough to sleep in! I can’t wait to use it…we just need a shower curtain first.

      The kitchen feels unimaginably luxurious. It’s so spacious that I’m thinking of getting a kitchen island to put in the center.

      Cafe Gratitude is closing MOST of their locations in NorCal, but two of them are staying open, as is the L.A. location. That’ll make the KC location the 4th. It’ll be a one-minute walk from my building’s front door – I can’t wait! Yes, you may just have to come visit sometime. πŸ˜‰ I was interviewed by phone for that VegNews feature, but I haven’t seen it yet – I’ll have to go look for it!

  18. Tracy permalink
    April 9, 2012 2:30 pm

    That kitchen is beyond amazing! I hope you have some great experiences in there (I will be baking vicariously through you, lol). I can’t wait to see how your new place looks with all of your furniture.

  19. April 9, 2012 2:37 pm

    Wow wow – that place is incredible!! I’ve alway dreamed of living in a funky place like that! I hope you show us pictures once it’s all decorated!

  20. April 9, 2012 2:52 pm

    Urban living is so foreign to me. Ive only even been to a few “big” cities -ha!

    We live in a smallish town on a quiet little street, and my husband gets mad if the neighbor mows his lawn on the weekend and disrupts the quiet. Ultimately, we’ll live in the country on acres of land with no neighbors in sight. A little different than your view πŸ˜‰

  21. Amelia permalink
    April 9, 2012 3:06 pm

    Wow! Your place is beautiful!! The view is my very favorite part of it!! Just gorgeous!! I haven’t ever wanted to live in the big city, but your place makes it tempting!! πŸ™‚

    We also wanted to say we were sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but it must be nice to finally have an answer to what is going on. We wish you the very best on your journey to wellness. πŸ™‚

    • April 9, 2012 3:08 pm

      Thank you, Amelia. I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m trying to stay hopeful.

      Our new place rocks! Maybe you and Myron will come see it sometime. πŸ™‚

      • Amelia permalink
        April 12, 2012 12:05 am

        We’d love to come see your place sometime!!
        Hey I feel like I chose the wrong words regarding your health issue. Please forgive. I meant to say we were sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well, but glad you got a diagnosis so you know what to do to feel better. πŸ™‚ We wish for you a speedy recovery!!! πŸ™‚

      • April 12, 2012 8:53 am

        No no, you didn’t choose the wrong words at all! I really appreciate what you said. πŸ™‚

  22. April 9, 2012 4:48 pm

    I love, love your new place. Cheers to fresh starts and new spaces.

    I think I’m more of a suburbs gal. I love the idea of urban living, but haven’t really lived in a place that had a complete urban scene. I like having a little space and a yard, but being close to a city and all it’s perks.

  23. April 9, 2012 4:49 pm

    Gorgeous! Omg that kitchen!!! I’ve never lived urban and don’t think I could do it, but with a kitchen like that, maybe I could! And the whole space is just gorgeous–I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Yes, my dear–onwards and upwards!

  24. Angela permalink
    April 9, 2012 5:09 pm

    Unfurnished & I love it already! The kitchen & view alone are to die for. I can’t wait to see it once you two are done decorating.
    Good luck & best wishes to you both!

  25. April 9, 2012 5:56 pm

    Ohhh, I just love your new place! How fun for you & extremely exciting!!! I’ve always like this kind of look, but I’ve never lived in the city. Congrats & I can see how the kitchen sealed the deal!!! LOL

  26. April 9, 2012 5:58 pm

    Amber, so cool! That apartment is absolutely gorgeous. I’m so excited to see how you both fill / use the space, and congratulations on such a great start to your marriage! (who needs a honeymoon with a kitchen like that?!) i’ve been living in beijing, but my apartment is nowhere CLOSE to anything like that, but I’m moving to Shanghai soon where I will be able to have a much nicer apartment. Urban living is the best! No cars! πŸ™‚ Congrats again!

    • April 9, 2012 6:01 pm

      Thank you Cliff! Holy crap, you’re in China now? Too cool! How’s the availability of raw food there? πŸ˜‰

      • April 11, 2012 8:00 am

        ugh not so great. but i’m going to start a new blog about being vegan in china and all of the other cool stuff going on with the sustainability movement out there. a lot of cooked vegan chinese recipes are to come! and an awesome post about how you can get custom vegan shoes hand made in shanghai! so cool! HAVE FUN IN THAT KITCHEN! i’m so jealous.

      • April 11, 2012 9:22 am

        Crazy! Hurry up and get that blog started πŸ˜‰

  27. April 9, 2012 6:22 pm

    AMBER. That kitchen is big enough to a) have dance parties in b) easily sit on the floor together eating blondies from the pan c) have me sleep in.

    Oh, also, I was slightly hungover yesterday from the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine (it wass a really, really, big glass of Rose). It seems my tolerance has not magically expanded recently as I had hoped.

    The place looks gorgeous, Amber, and you and Matt absolutely deserve a new place to draw light and love and hope from as you start all these new next adventure parts of your lives. xoxoxo

    • April 10, 2012 12:52 am

      The correct answer is d) all of the above.

      2 glasses is better than 1! We’ll work on you πŸ˜‰ And hey, I’m not able to drink alcohol currently, so by the time you arrive, perhaps my tolerance will have gone DOWN to 2 glasses! You never know.

  28. April 9, 2012 11:49 pm

    It’s awesome and beautiful! Love the space, the kitchen (wow!) and the views. Enjoy!

  29. Dana Pinder permalink
    April 10, 2012 6:36 am

    I have to say I agree with all as your new home is absolutely beautiful!! I LOVE THE VIEW of downtown Kansas City!! You know, I was born in Springfield, grew up (mostly) in Jefferson City then lived a couple year in Springfield before moving to the Bahamas. I have not been to KC in many years…..I miss that city!! It’s such a beautiful place!!! ENJOY!!!

  30. April 10, 2012 8:40 am

    The whole place looks amazing…but that kitchen? ::Swoon:: Love it!

    I’ve wanted to live in the city for a long time, but I only want to do it a year or so. We’ve pretty much made our home in the OP though, and EVERYTHING we do and most everyone we hang out with (on a regular basis anyway) is there–everything except my work, which is in the P&L District. So that leaves us torn on trying it out for a year or so or staying put. At least we love our where we live now. But a kitchen like that is very tempting πŸ™‚

    • April 10, 2012 10:33 am

      Matt and I are kind of the opposite, but kind of the same – most of the activities we do (concerts, bars, art, theater) are closer to downtown, so we wanted to move to where all the action is. But at the same time, we’re probably only going to stay here 2-4 years, because we’d like to start having kids in a couple years (as long as I can get my body ‘corrected,’ fingers crossed), and by the time it’s time for the first one to go to school, we want to be near a better school district! So we’ll probably move back out south, or possibly to the Northland.

  31. April 10, 2012 11:21 am

    That place looks awesome! I’ve wanted to live in an urban place, but never quite managed to. Right now I’m living in a first ring suburb of Minneapolis (minutes from downtown) because that’s where we were able to find a house in our price range. I think we’ve struck the right balance of “peace and quiet” on one hand and “being in the middle of everything” on the other, but part of me still keeps imagining a place right smack in the middle of everything.

  32. April 10, 2012 12:26 pm

    Your apartment looks amazing, especially the kitchen, nice choice! I just came across your blog and look forward to browsing your recipes. I hope you are blessed with peace and strength throughout your healing process.

  33. April 10, 2012 1:08 pm

    wow……what a dream place!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the super cool trendy bathrooms, the brick wall, the ceilings and of course…..OMG look at that kitchen!!!!!!!!!

  34. char eats GREENS permalink
    April 10, 2012 4:29 pm

    I LOVE exposed brick in places. Looks like a fantastic place!!! Ah, I wanted a modern home now! haha

  35. April 10, 2012 4:54 pm

    You are now living in one of my favorite parts of KC! That’s the area I’m most familiar with. I used to go to Lulu’s back in the day (before they moved somewhere else) and I used to visit all the shops downtown. What a cool place to live!

    And that kitchen is FABULOUS!

  36. hungryvegantraveler permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:19 am

    Um, does your place come with a couch for me to crash upon whenever I decide to visit KC? You don’t even need a couch. I’ll just curl up on the windowsill like a cat and watch KC do what KC does.

  37. April 11, 2012 2:27 pm

    O M G
    When can I come move in?!?!?!


  38. chefandbaker permalink
    August 2, 2012 12:21 am

    New Reader.. Just stumbled today. I too am from the KC Area and have always dreamed of living in the city. But I work in the burbs and because I hate the traffic, I live really close to my job. One day though, I hope to be in the KC Lofts too.. yours looks magnificent! BTW, loving all your blog posts, that kitchen is to die for!

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