• chick4

    Prize Pack Giveaway from the Handmade and Vintage Pop-Up Market by Chick Events

    Chick Events is brand new to Kansas City from the parent company, Just For Her (est. 2008). Chick Events is about creating an event with a purpose. Each event benefits a local nonprofit. The Handmade and Vintage Pop-up and Holiday pop-up markets partnered with REbeL, a peer group for high school students that encourages positive […]

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    Prize Pack Giveaway from the Handmade and Vintage Pop-Up Market by Chick Events

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    ’37 Steak Review and Giveaway

    Kansas City’s newest steakhouse ’37 Steak in Harrah’s Casino is not your average casino restaurant. The concept for this establishment, named for the year (1937) when the very first Harrah’s opened in Reno, is to be a restaurant in a casino, not a casino restaurant. Since I am not a big gambler or buffet eater, […]

    Read More

    ’37 Steak Review and Giveaway

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    The New HTC One (M8)

    I recently got the chance to try out the newest HTC One smart phone the M8, courtesy of Verizon Wireless. It is now time to send it back but before I do, here is the scoop on some of the features I enjoyed about the phone. I am not that tech savvy, so for a […]

    Read More

    The New HTC One (M8)

chick4

Prize Pack Giveaway from the Handmade and Vintage Pop-Up Market by Chick Events

Chick Events is brand new to Kansas City from the parent company, Just For Her (est. 2008). Chick Events is about creating an event with a purpose. Each event benefits a local nonprofit. The Handmade and Vintage Pop-up and Holiday pop-up markets partnered with REbeL, a peer group for high school students that encourages positive […]

Read More
IMG_7466

’37 Steak Review and Giveaway

Kansas City’s newest steakhouse ’37 Steak in Harrah’s Casino is not your average casino restaurant. The concept for this establishment, named for the year (1937) when the very first Harrah’s opened in Reno, is to be a restaurant in a casino, not a casino restaurant. Since I am not a big gambler or buffet eater, […]

Read More
IMG_6764

The New HTC One (M8)

I recently got the chance to try out the newest HTC One smart phone the M8, courtesy of Verizon Wireless. It is now time to send it back but before I do, here is the scoop on some of the features I enjoyed about the phone. I am not that tech savvy, so for a […]

Read More

Prize Pack Giveaway from the Handmade and Vintage Pop-Up Market by Chick Events

chick4Chick Events is brand new to Kansas City from the parent company, Just For Her (est. 2008). Chick Events is about creating an event with a purpose. Each event benefits a local nonprofit. The Handmade and Vintage Pop-up and Holiday pop-up markets partnered with REbeL, a peer group for high school students that encourages positive body image and natural beauty.

The Handmade and Vintage Pop-up market is an outdoor event at Park Place taking place this weekend September 13th and 14th. Tents will be lined up on each side of the street featuring 83 vendors.  Eight different restaurants will be serving food, drinks and participating in a KS Pork Association “I Dig the Pig Pork Crawl.” Every vendor has either handmade products or vintage products, which was a requirement to participate in the event.

Prize pack includes a “KC Chick” t-shirt, koozie and two tickets to the upcoming Handmade and Vintage Pop-up Market ($30 value).

To enter please like Chick Events on Facebook and follow on Twitter as well as the What You’re Missing KC! Facebook and Twitter pages.

Then comment below that you have done so as well as which of the following is you favorite thing to shop for:

Clothing

Home decor items

Jewelery

Specialty food items

Entries will be received until midnight, Thursday, September 11th. Winner will be notified via email Friday, September 12th so please be sure and leave a contact email with your entry.  Prize pack will be available for pick up at the ticket booth area on whichever day you choose to visit.

Good Luck!

 

 

’37 Steak Review and Giveaway

IMG_7470Kansas City’s newest steakhouse ’37 Steak in Harrah’s Casino is not your average casino restaurant. The concept for this establishment, named for the year (1937) when the very first Harrah’s opened in Reno, is to be a restaurant in a casino, not a casino restaurant.

Since I am not a big gambler or buffet eater, the thought of going to a casino for dinner never crossed my mind, until now. I recently had the chance to preview and sample some items from ’37 Steak and was certainly impressed.

Every aspect you associate with a casino restaurant flies straight out the window with ’37 Steak, starting with the cocktails.

There are only a few places in the metro that offer the kind of unique craft cocktail experience you will find at ’37 Steak. The detail that goes into making these drinks is truly an art. Fresh herbs, fruits and veggies as well as unique liquors are used and the technique is fascinating to watch.

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For instance, the Sage of Anthos begins with catching a sprig of fresh rosemary on fire and includes a liquor infused with variety of herbs including: sage, rosemary, fennel, thyme and more with lemon and simple syrup finishing the drink. This is definitely a lemonade for grown-ups that is absolutely delicious.

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The Treaty of Amity, featuring Applejack Brandy is served in a glass infused with apple wood smoke. The sweetness from the apple brandy combined with the smokiness from the glass is a unique combination and would pair well with many of the grilled steaks and other entrees ’37 steak offers.

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Fresh red jalapeños, Thai chilies, whiskey and Absinthe make up the Smoke and Spice which is a new drink that will be hitting the menu this fall. The heat from the peppers, the coolness of the ice, the sweetness from the liquors, the spicy scent and the gorgeous red peppers adorning the glass ignite all of you senses. This is one drink not to be missed!IMG_7505

If you like to drink your dessert, the Egg Cream is the perfect ending to your meal. Godiva chocolate liqueur and mint are poured over a compressed ice sculptured sphere, which is made right before your eyes.

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The solid sphere of ice keeps this sweet and chocolaty drink from getting watered down from ice melt.

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Head Craft Bartender Michael Strohm is truly an artist and has a wealth of knowledge about many different liquors. He keeps what he calls a “Personal Rolodex” in his head full of cocktail recipes that are not featured on the menu. For instance, when I told him that lavender was one of my favorite herbs, he made me The Dennie, a drink he named after his mom.

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Prior to pouring the concoction which includes Aperol, Dolin Blanc and Tangqueray the glass is misted with an infused lavender liqueur. The lavender scent is intoxicating and the taste is delightfully light and not to sweet. The color and garnish of fresh sage almost made it to pretty to drink, but I seemed to manage!

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If you don’t see a drink on the menu you would like to try, just tell bartender Mike what you like and he can create a personalized cocktail just for you. You can also catch him on Mixology Monday on YouTube where he demonstrates how to make a new drink each week.

Tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of the gaming area, the decor at ’37 steak is sleek and modern and will make you feel as you are at a swanky venue downtown. The stunning dining room features beautiful lighting, stone accents and an elegant fireplace with plenty of seating as well as private dining areas and rooms that can host meetings and events.

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The bar area is just as lovely with plenty of tables and chairs as well as bar top seating where you can get a front row seat to the cocktail slinging action.

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The bar side also offers a very laid back casual but unique menu featuring a grilled mac and cheese sandwich and their famous candied bacon, which by the way is phenomenal! Other bar bites include tenderloin sliders, flatbreads, wings, shrimp, house-made chips and more and start at just $5.

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Like every detail ’37 Steak considers for your cocktail the same goes for your meal. The wine room features a great selection of wines from all over the world while the food menu offers a fine dining selection of entrees featuring some of the best steaks and seafood available. Elegant appetizers, fresh salads, house-made soups and gourmet sauces, butters and sides complete the menu to appeal to any taste.

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The pricing is comparable to other steak houses with entrees starting in the $20 range with the most expensive being the seafood trio consisting of lobster tail, king crab leg and 3 jumbo prawns for $74. I do need to mention that I saw this dish go by and the crab leg was enormous! I just got back from a trip to Alaska and didn’t see crab legs that big! Most of the filets and steaks are in the $30 to $40 range. The array of sharable sides are only $5.

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Hubby and I split a gorgeous 12 oz filet and sharable sides of off-the-cob sweet corn and baked potato. The filet was perfectly cooked and the corn still had kernels connected from being cut straight from the cob. The loaded potato rounded out this delightful meal and experience.

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For dessert we shared the Peanut Butter in my Chocolate, which is their version of the beloved peanut butter cup. I have to mention that chocolate and peanut butter is one of my all time favorite combos and I enjoyed this dessert immensely. The chocolaty crust and the creamy peanut butter filling was a tasty!IMG_7553

I wish to thank ’37 Steak for hosting me but also need to mention to you, my readers that although I was a guest of ’37 Steak, I only write about an experiences if I truly think is something you are missing! Even if you are not a big fan of steakhouses you should at least go for one of their magnificent cocktails and some candied bacon from the bar!

The service is great, the atmosphere is delightful and the fare is tasty! ’37 Steak is worth a visit.

And to make that visit a little easier on the wallet, ’37 Steak has given me a $50 gift certificate to give away.

To enter leave a comment below what your favorite cut of steak is.

For more information you can check out ’37 Steak’s Twitter page and Harrah’s Facebook page as well as the What You’re Missing KC! Facebook and Twitter pages.

Entries will be received until midnight Friday, September 19th. Winner will be drawn using random.org and be notified via email, so be sure to leave a valid email contact with your entry!

Good Luck!

’37 Steak
Harrah’s North Kansas City
1 Riverboat Dr North Kansas City, MO 64116
816-889-7037
'37 Steak on Urbanspoon

The New HTC One (M8)

IMG_6768I recently got the chance to try out the newest HTC One smart phone the M8, courtesy of Verizon Wireless. It is now time to send it back but before I do, here is the scoop on some of the features I enjoyed about the phone.

I am not that tech savvy, so for a list of specifications, sim card sizing, storage information and slew of other tech lingo I do not quite understand you check the HTC website.

As far as the ease, use of the phone and features I liked, here is my take.

Aesthetically: The new HTC One is a sleek looking phone. The rounded edges and brushed nickel finish give it a stylish look. The curved back is slightly slick so if you are a butterfingers like me, I would suggest some kind of rubberized case.

Sound: With front facing speakers on both the top and the bottom of the screen gives this phone excellent sound.

Screen: The large five inch HD display screen is vibrant and is easy to see even in the sunlight. The text is sharp and clear.

Battery: On most days the battery lasted all day. If I found myself out with the battery getting low I could switch to the “Extreme Power Saving Mode” which allows calls and texts to come in but shuts everything else down to save on battery life.

Blink Feed: Keep on top of social media, trending news and more with this home screen news feed. Pick and choose the highlights you want to keep track of and if it ever gets to take up more of your home screen than you like, it can easily be removed.

Camera: This phone has both a front and rear facing camera that produces super sharp images. Additionally there is a “selfie” taking mode as well as a dual capture where you can take a shot of both of the images that are appearing on the rear camera and front facing. There are also plenty of editing and filter options as well to add even more character to your pics.

Sense TV: In just a few short steps, you can pair the HTC one to your TV, cable box and home theater and then use it turn on the television, change channels and adjust volume.

Apps: The HTC One is an Android format so searching the Google play store will get you plenty of cool apps that will work beautifully with this phone.

If you are in the market for a new smart phone, this one will not disappoint.

I wish to thank Verizon Wireless for lending me the phone. I had a blast trying it out!

For information on specs, ordering or pricing visit the Verizon Wireless website.

The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo

IMG_6726The cool folks over at Verizon Wireless recently loaned me the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo charging unit. It has come in very handy and have to say it has been a lifesaver with all of the summer traveling we have been up to.

From Texas to Alaska with a few stops in between this Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation has kept our devices charged and ready to go.

We were able to charge the iPod to keep the tunes going and for movie watching while on flights and waiting in airports it kept the iPad’s battery full! While on the road in Colorado for ten days it kept our, phones up and running so we never missed a call or text and allowed us to get the directions we needed from the GPS app at a moments notice.

The unit is sleek, small and portable, being just a little narrower than a deck of cards. It even came in handy at a couple of hotels where we stayed when the outlets by the bed were unreachable to plug in our regular phone chargers.

IMG_6725It is now time for me to send it back but before I do, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at all the cool features and why I will probably end up buying one!

The Mophie Duo Juice Pack is sleek with a rubberized black plastic body and stainless steel outer band.

It measures 4.3 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.9 ounce.

It has two full sized USB ports, which allows two devices to be charge simultaneously.

The 6,000mAh battery unit charges easily when connected to a laptop or iPad wall adapter via the USB cord and comes with an LED indicator light to let you know when it is full and ready to go.

With a charging output of 2.1 amps, the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo can handle all of your charging needs and is truly a lifesaver when you need portable power!

Retails for $99.99.

For further details on specs, ordering or additional information visit VerizonWireless.com or mophie.com.

I wish to thank for Verizon Wireless for letting try it out.

 

MasterChef Semi Finalist and Kansas City local Becky Reams sets sail on the first ever MasterChef Cruise

Fans of the reality cooking show MasterChef, can get ready to set sail on the first-ever “MasterChef” Cruise.

MC Cruise

This cruise will be a culinary adventure through the Caribbean, hosted by “MasterChef” Judge Graham Eliot, “MasterChef” winners Christine Ha and Luca Manfe, “MasterChef Junior” winner Alexander Weiss, “MasterChef” Season 3 semi-finalist and KC native Becky Reams and “MasterChef” fan favorite Bri Kozior.  Also included will be the winner of “MasterChef” Season 5, which is currently airing now! Catch up on all of the latest episodes here.

The cruise takes place November 8 – 15 aboard Holland America’s Westerdam ship and will feature intimate cooking demos, competitions, meet & greets, shore excursions and more. Ports include: Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

I have to admit I am a fan of cruises and have actually been on this exact ship and a few of the ports of call on a previous cruise and can assure you this will be an amazing time!

I am also a fan of the show and even tried out for the first season when they had a casting call in KC. I got a call back and went through some other hoops they required, but that is a far as I got. I have been watching every season since and of course with Becky being a local, I was rooting for her all throughout season 3.

Becky Reams

I recently had the chance to chat with Becky about her MasterChef experience, whats in her fridge and future plans involving KC and more. Below is our Q & A with a few questions under a variety of categories.. I hope you enjoy learning more about Becky and join her on the MasterChef Cruise.

“MasterChef” Behind the Scenes

1. Did you have recipes available or were you able to bring you own?

We did not have recipes, but we were allowed to bring some cookbooks with us, to keep in our rooms and read during down time, to help us find inspiration, be inventive, etc.

2. Which celebrity chef gave you the most encouragement?

Graham, most definitely. I immediately related to him for some reason, and he mentored me the most during the show. Having said that, since the show I have seen Gordon several times, and just following his career and reading his books– he is a true inspiration. He started from zero and built an absolute empire, all the while never compromising his food. His passion for cooking is absolutely genuine and I respect him so so much.


“MasterChef” Cruise

1. How were you notified you would be invited to join the cruise?

I was shocked, to say the least, when I was invited to be a part of the cruise. It was something I had always thought about (and kind of dreamed about) to be a part of something so huge, as to be the face of the entire “MasterChef” series. Especially because I’ll be in such great company. I’ll be cooking alongside Luca and Christine, two “MasterChef” winners! Not to mention phenomenal people who I know well and have cooked and cried and laughed alongside. Also Alexander, whom I have communicated with on many occasions and who inspired everyone he meets with his unbelievable culinary mind at such a young age. Then Bri, whom I loved on the show last year and am so excited to meet! Needless to say, I’m honored to be involved and cannot wait to see all my “MasterChef” family again.

2. Is the evening entertainment going to be the cooking challenges?

The cruise is going to have so much fun stuff happening, it’s going to be constant. I myself have several cooking demos as do the other Chef guests. We will be teaching guests how to prepare/cook certain things, as well as having interactive cooking challenges and games. Honestly, it’s going to be a lot of fun, and very interactive for the guests.

3. Have you ever cruised before?

I have never cruised before!! Which only adds to my excitement. I am looking forward to this adventure. And as my dad always said, anything can be an adventure, you have to fill your life with them…new experiences.

Kansas City

1. Where did you grow up in Kansas City?

I grew up in Stillwell and Overland Park, KS.

2. What are a few of your favorite restaurants?

People never think of Kansas City as a culinary destination…but they’re wrong. KC has a really solid food culture. Not to mention excellent new spots opening all the time, that I haven’t even had the chance to try yet! Some of my favorites are nostalgic, and some are new tasty finds. I love Hayward’s BBQ, Rye, Blue Stem (same owners as Rye– Chef Colby and his wife are amazing chefs and super rad people). I also love The Rieger hotel, Julian (Chef Tio is awesome and a friend– I did a pop up there a few years back) and lastly J. Alexander’s, just because I’ve been going there since childhood–you can always go there for a big juicy steak and really tasty mashed potatoes.

3. I heard a rumor you would like open a restaurant in Kansas City, is that true?And if so any details you can share including type of cuisine, location, opening date etc…?

Haha, well you know I have mad love for my KC people…and I would love to feed them some contemporary American/Thai food… in a small setting, with really great music and cocktails… But that’s just speculation :)

4. Do you have any plans to come back to Kansas City for guest appearances anywhere?

I try to come back to KC any chance I get, but for now LA has been keeping me pretty busy. I’m hoping to come back in late August for some cooking and family.

Cooking and Career

1. What is in your fridge right now?

Spicy sausage, organic eggs, Boulevard Christopher Elbow Chocolate Ale (I found little mom and pop liquor store out here in LA, that sells Boulevard Kansas City Beer, which makes me very happy), Fage yogurt, miso paste, brown butter, opal basil, quinoa salad, and a lot of different kinds of mustard.

2. How do you define you cooking style?

I define my cooking style as contemporary American with strong Asian influences. I love down-home cooking, like my mom’s swiss steak. But I am also in love with Kimchi fried rice, Ramen with black garlic broth, Korean BBQ, Miso glazed anything… you get the picture. I use my favorite parts of all those cuisines, and pull them together. Like Miso devilled eggs, or Ramen broth with pulled pork and dumplings.

3. What are you currently doing career wise?

I’m currently cooking full time. I work with an awesome app where I teach people how to cook, via cooking videos, delivered in a beautiful, user friendly platform, available for iphone/ipad. It’s called Appetites. I also have cooking videos on You Tube, on the Appetites You tube channel, where I teach people fun and creative cooking tip/tricks/techniques. Things like, how to open a coconut, how to clean a crab, substitutes for common kitchen ingredients, and even profiling different ingredients, like peppers, mushrooms, and pastas. It’s a ton of fun, and really informative for viewers.

I also Food style for TV, primarily The Queen Latifah Show, which is a ton of fun, and contribute to their website regularly, with seasonal recipes and cooking tips.

Since I love being in the kitchen, I can’t stay away, and still also work part time at a great restaurant here in LA called The Church Key, under Chef Steven Fretz. It’s a great restaurant with a seasonal inventive menu—it’s a great place to eat and work, and I love that I continue to learn more and more each day. Being able to work under different far more experienced and seasoned Chefs like Kris Morningstar, Michael Cimarusti and Steven Fretz helps me to better understand the business and continue to learn and grow as a cook. I respect these people, as I do every chef in any restaurant immensely and feel humbled to share the kitchens they slaved over to create.

The network of chefs in Los Angeles runs deep, and I have been lucky enough to get to know many many cooks in this city, which is a pretty rad thing. One day when I have the opportunity to open my first restaurant I will be better prepared for success having spent the time now, putting in work, learning and apprenticing under such talent. The journey to becoming a chef is not something that happens over the course of 2 months, or 2 years… it’s a journey. A tough, arduous journey, but one that earns you respect and poise which you can get no other way than to just do it. You gotta put in that work. You can’t buy it, and you can’t fake it– other cooks can see through a hack faster than it takes to brunoise a shallot.

4. Tell us about some neat opportunities you have gotten to do since your appearance on “MasterChef”.

You could feasibly say that every culinary opportunity that I’ve had since “MasterChef” has been because of “MasterChef,” for one simple reason: “MasterChef” gave me the confidence to pursue a cooking career and leave my past career in dust. Once I got in front of those “MasterChef” judges, and they told me I had a knack for cooking, and this wasn’t a fluke, something snapped in my brain– I just committed to cooking. You have to.

Cooking professionally is not glamorous, it won’t make you rich, it’s not easy, it’s not pretty, it’s hard work, long hours, it beats you up, breaks you down, wears you out, separates you from your family and friends, and the hardest of all (for me) it’s not instantly gratifying…at first. But, there is always one moment for every cook, when you see the light, and something small happens that makes it all worthwhile. Your chef turns to you, after a long butt-kicking 5 hour service– you’re sweating in places you didn’t know you could sweat, you fingers are calloused from the grill, you have oil splatter burns on your forearms, your calves ache from being on your feet for 12 hours (all this before clean up and break down)… But the chef reaches across the line and high fives you, “nice work, you crushed it.” All worthwhile. That’s what cooking is– its unglamorous, but we (cook people) get a deeply satisfying feeling from creating beautiful, tasty food for folks. When I realized it was for me, I made the jump. I could never go back.

I wish to thank Becky for taking the time to answer my questions and wish her the best of luck on the upcoming cruise.  I am hoping to save up some pennies so I can join the fun and hope you do to! For more information on the “MasterChef” Cruise visit the MasterChef  Website.

The Peanut Wings Now Available For Delivery

The Peanut Bar and Grill now offers worldwide  delivery of their famous chicken wings and the amazing folks over at The Peanut sent me a delivery of the wings to try.

The wings are huge and absolutely just as good as in the ones in the restaurant.

The wings are delivered vacuum sealed and frozen, and come with extra wing sauce and your choice of dipping sauce. Wings can be ordered in 18, 25, 50 or 100 wings on the bar’s website and have them delivered directly to your door.

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To prepare, the directions suggest to thaw the wings overnight in the fridge but we were ready for the wings when they arrive so I just popped them in the oven frozen and baked them a little longer. (The directions suggest baking in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.)

They came out perfect and everyone agreed they were some of the best wings they have had.

Visit The Peanut’s website to order.  Mention discount code 1266 for a special discount.

New Herb Infused Cocktail Menu at the Westin Crown Center

The Westin Kansas City Crown Center and Sheraton Kansas City hotel bars have just introduced a new herb-infused cocktail menu to kick off summer. Available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, these cocktails are inspired by the outdoor garden at The Westin.

The new menu that locally sources herbs on property such as rosemary, basil, cilantro, lavender and more include the new Arnold Pepper cocktail, the Roseberry- St. Germaine and a host of others including Green Tea Agave Mojito, Cucumber Cilantro Margarita and Strawberry Basil Lemonade.DSC_054

The Arnold Pepper mixes flavors of gin, lemon juice, spears of red bell pepper, basil leaves and agave while the Roseberry- St. Germaine has Vodka, lemon juice, rosemary, raspberries and agave.

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This fresh and artisanal approach to these cocktails will give some other bars in the city a run for the their money.  Grab some friends and check out these new cocktails tonight!

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The Up24™ Fitness Band By Jawbone®

For health and fitness buffs that are on the go, the UP24™ fitness band by Jawbone® is for you.

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I recently had the opportunity to try out the band which was loaned out to me by Verizon Wireless and thought it was great.

The sleek wristband which is made from a textured medical grade rubber, comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The band tracks steps and movement, sleeping patterns and meals as well as goals, reminders and workouts. Below is my take on each feature.

Activity Tacker – The overview tracking feature tells you how many steps you have taken and by looking at the graph chart you can tell at what time you were most active. There is an overview of the days activity that lets you know how long you were active and idle time. The calorie burning feature breaks down your total calorie burn in active and resting burn. You can also manually enter workouts.

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Sleep Tracker – To track sleep you have to manually press on the end of the wristband and a light vibration from the band as well as a crescent shaped light flashes on the band to let you know it is in sleep mode. The overview chart of the sleep tracker tells you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many hours were sound sleep, how many hours were light sleep, how long you may have been awake for in the middle of the night and how many times you woke up. It also has an overall time you were in bed.

To wake up your band, press the end of the wristband again and a light vibration and sun shaped light will flash on the band letting you know it is awake.

If you forget to put your wristband into sleep mode you can always open up the app and manually put in the time you went to bed and the time you woke up.

The same goes if you forget to wake the band up you can manually go in and put in activity for a certain amount of time.

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Food Tracker – This feature allows you to log food and meals. There is an internal list of a variety of foods and brands with all the nutritional information included. You can manually enter foods or use the scanning feature as well as photos from your phone gallery. The food tracker also keeps track of calories so you can always know where you are at if you are counting calories.

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Goals and Reminders – You can set activity and sleep goals as well as set reminders to where the band will nudge you with a light vibration to remind you get up and move if you have been idle for too long. There is also a team setting where you can link up with other friends.

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Connectivity – This fitness band does not sync with computers so it is handy for those who rely on their mobile devices. It wirelessly syncs via Bluetooth® with these compatible devices that have the free Jawbone App installed. The battery last six to seven days before needing recharged.

I am a bit of a fitness buff and try to eat pretty healthy so I had a ton of fun using this device and am bummed I have to send it back. I own a couple other activity devices, one which has a subscription fee and the other no sleep tracker so overall, I really enjoyed all of the features of this fitness band and would recommend it if you are in the market for an activity tracker.

I wish to thank Verizon for lending the Jawbone® UP24™ out to me. Click here for information including, specs, pricing, purchasing and features.

Plan a Staycation with these Summer Packages from The Raphael Hotel

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The Raphael, a Kansas City boutique hotel noted for its portfolio of romantic getaway and special interest packages, introduces summer travelers to the places and attractions that make for a distinct Kansas City getaway with two new value packages.

The Kansas City Zoo Penguin package showcases the Kansas City Zoo’s new Helzberg Penguin Plaza and the antics of Nikita, the zoo’s rock star polar bear, with admission and special amenities plus a bonus coupon valid through July for house-baked cookies and ice cold Shatto milk.

The War to End All Wars Century package presents the poignant lessons learned from World War I (1914 – 1918) with a century look-back experience in the National World War I Museum. All packages include choice of accommodations, complimentary self or valet parking, use of Fitness Center, high-speed Internet, newspaper and refreshments in the Lobby morning and afternoon. More packages are available by calling 816.756.3800, visiting the newly revamped raphaelkc.com.

Best Ever Strawberry Shortcake

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This recipe is a family favorite and a recent contest by Driscoll’s Berries inspired me to share it with you.  The drop biscuit method adds a nice crunch to the shortcake that compliments the sweet strawberries and whip cream. #Driscollsberry @strawshort

For the Shortcakes

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar (divided use)

4  teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

2 large egg

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon buttermilk (divided use)

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 For the Topping

2 quart strawberries, hulled

3 cups heavy (whipping) cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

Instructions

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Measure the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and the salt into a food processor. Scatter the chilled butter evenly over dry ingredients.

Pulse the processor 10 to 12 times (1-second pulses) until the butter is in tiny bits.

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Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Pulse until the soft dough just comes together and is a drop biscuit consistency.

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The dough will be very moist.  Scoop dough with serving spoon until you have a small fist size amount and drop dough onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Dough should yield 12 -14 shortcakes.

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Brush tops with the remaining 2 tablespoon of buttermilk, then sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for about 18 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly browned. Cool.

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Thinly slice the strawberries and scoop into a medium bowl.

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In separate  chilled bowl,  beat the cream with electric mixer and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (using the whisk attachment if available) until the cream holds soft peaks. Just before serving split each biscuit as you would a bagel. Top the bottom layer with a generous dollop of whipped cream, spoon on a portion of the strawberries on bottom layer then set top in place.  Garnish with additional whip cream and strawberries.

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Strawberries may be mixed with a few tablespoons of sugar for a juicer consistency if desired.