Centered Spirit-Now Open in Waldo


With all the current chatter about health insurance, premiums, who’s covered, rising costs–it can be just another source of stress to our already fast paced lives. If you want to investigate a different style of taking care of your mind and physical body, consider a visit to Centered Spirit, a new Cultural and Holistic Center in Waldo.

massage roomCentered Spirit believes in “the body’s innate wisdom and natural ability to find health and achieve balance”. Alex Jackson has been practicing traditional Mayan medicine for fourteen years, first in a Brookside office location. He and his wife Emilie opened Centered Spirit in January 2017. Alex works with patients regarding digestive disorders, muscle pains, anxiety, female health issues, depleted energy and offers several types of traditional therapies, such as Maya Abdominal Massage, cupping, holistic counseling, acupuncture and herbal remedies.  Alex explains that “different life events can trigger physical changes in your body as well as emotional stress.”  He takes the time to “assess, connect and heal” with the goal of solutions that will work for each unique person for the long term.


Their expanded facility at 8131 Wornall has four treatment rooms plus an infrared sauna as well as a larger community area for classes and teaching. To celebrate Emilie’s native country of France, they have opened a French tea room in the building which Emilie operates, featuring several imported teas from France (also sold by the ounce). Emilie recently wrote about the health benefits of tea for Evolving in Kansas City.   Both Alex and Emilie love promoting different cultures — they have travelled extensively to places like Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. Artwork they have purchased while roaming the Earth hangs throughout the building, and the couple loves sharing their passion for other cultures through food, art and healing traditions.  Centered Spirit also offers workshops for the public; the next one is April 1-2, 2017 titled “Life On Purpose”.

a and e


Centered Spirit is located at 8131 Wornall–that is the southeast corner of 81st Terrace and Wornall. If you would like to find out more about their services–stop by for a cup of tea! Or contact Alex Jackson at 816 225 9393. The Centered Spirit blog, with their event listings, is posted at

Authentic French Bakery Opens in Waldo



Attention all fans of authentic French breads and pastries….we now have a local resource for freshly baked croissants, baguettes, macaroons and puff pastry!  Cecile Rocher recently opened Gabrianna, A French Bakery, based in her home in Rockhill Gardens.  After reading this blog, you will be ready to call and make an order!




Some background on the baker:  Cecile, from Brest, a town in Brittany in the NW part of France, was a teacher and had the itch to travel.   Working through the French government, she got a teaching job in New Orleans.  It was there she met her future husband, Thomas.  Together they moved for jobs to Washington DC.  After having twins, the family  wanted to move back to Kansas City, her husband’s home town, to be close to relatives.   Cecile has been baking since she was ten years old (she was in charge of dessert) and decided to open Gabrianna after purchasing their home in Brookside.  As she explained to me:  “In our family, we love food.  We love it for the taste and conviviality.  When I was young we would all eat together and talk about the day.  My parents and sister –we still talk about food when we speak on the phone!” 

Gabrianna opened in December and word is spreading fast  about the delicious, truly home made treats Cecile bakes.   In addition to croissants, macaroons, quiche and baguettes, Cecile makes sweet and savory puff pastry, cookies, tarts, brownies and sandwiches, plus there are some gluten free options.  Prices are very reasonable; for example, a croissant is $2 and a baguette is $3.   She will accept small orders for just a few items or cater a special luncheon or event…and she offers delivery to certain area locations.   If you check her Facebook page regularly, often she will mention she has a few goodies left at the end of the day for you can swing by and pick up a couple of fresh croissants or a baguette to enjoy that same evening.  If you do plan to make an order, Cecile requests at least a 24-48 hour notice.

Cecile absolutely loves her baking business, and her enthusiasm is infectious.  As we were talking, she often mentioned her love of baking and sharing her love of food with new people.  Try Gabrianna, A French Bakery soon and indulge in some delicious, authentic French pastries!  You can reach Cecile through her Facebook page or at 504 638 4929.  Thank you for supporting Brookside/Waldo locally owned businesses!


Brookside’s Natural Juice Shop


Simple Science Juices in Brookside


Simple Science Juices opened in Brookside last July…and I just discovered it a month or so ago! I think this spot hosted a custom tee shirt shop many months ago. Natural, organic juice shops are as hot as craft breweries in Kansas City—now our Brookside core shopping strip has one.



juice-coolerThis is the third location for Simple Science Juices; the other two are in the Crossroads district and  Overland Park. You may have seen their products sold at the Farmers Markets in Brookside and OP. These cold pressed juices (8 oz and 16 oz) are  created at an Overland Park kitchen, made fresh each day. All are gluten, soy and dairy free. The stores also feature smoothies, cold coffee beverages, paleo bites, and some salads and entrees: pad thai, salmon and quinoa, roasted veggie salad (a best seller) plus bars and snacks. I tried the 8 oz ($5) Fiber dragon fruit smoothie, and it was delicious. Complete descriptions of all items are found on the website.


Simple Science Juices was founded by Steve Spangler, who had a soccer career with Sporting Kansas City. He was fighting several ailments through traditional medications that were only treating symptoms, not the cause of his problems. A change in lifestyle that included drinking cold pressed juices, enabled him to eliminate meds and become much healthier, as he focused on natural foods and vitamins for his body. One phrase printed on their marketing materials emphasizes this change: “Let food be thy medicine, let medicine by thy food”.




Simple Science Juices is open at 112 W 63rd St Monday through Saturday from 7am-7pm and Sunday from 10am-6pm. There is seating in the shop and parking in back and on the street. Simple Science Juices also offers home delivery of their products through a subscription service.


Red Door Grill Open Now in Brookside


Brookside welcomes another locally owned restaurant…the Red Door Woodfired Grill opened in the former Blue Grotto location on December 29—the exact address is 6324 Brookside Plaza, next door to the Brooksider. I haven’t eaten there (yet!) –but did stop by to take a look at the space and menu.








If you’ve been to the Leawood location, you will recognize the menu at the Brookside spot. Specialties include jalapeno dipped fried chicken (served on Thursdays), whiskey soaked prime rib (Sunday’s special), plus meatloaf (owner’s recipe) and wood fired wings (with ancho chili rub, baked, then grilled). McGonigles created a special blend of meat for the burgers ($5 on Mondays). No frozen meat or heat lamps here, proclaims a blurb on the menu, and the wood used under the grill is pecan, oak and hickory.


rd-interiorThere is  a large bar with TVs in all sight lines; plenty of booths and a spacious upstairs seating area. The menu includes several modestly priced sides and appetizers, so if you don’t want a full meal, you can graze and share several different foods. The hummus and salad dressings are made on site!! Of course there are several specialty cocktails ($8+), plenty of beer and wine options. You can order take out—or rent the place for a special event. Happy hour is a full three hours (4-7) Monday through Friday and late night from 10pm-midnight.

Red Door Woodfired Grill is open seven days a week now in Brookside! Reservations are accepted.



Armour Hills 2016 Home Sales Recap

It’s that time to look at 2016 home sales stats for Armour Hills in Brookside.  Overall, prices are up!  Let’s look at the December 2016 sales, and then move on to a 2016 recap.

Dec 2016:                                                 

Median list price:      $277,500                          

Median sales price:  $281,500                          

Number of homes sold:  8                                 

Days on market:             42

Dec 2015:       

Median list price:       $296,000

Median sales price:   $298,000     

Number of homes sold:  7    

Days on market:             28

Although median price was lower than last year, three of the eight homes that closed were sold at or over list price.                 

Now let’s look at the year 2016, as compared to previous years.:


Median list price:      $275,000                                      

Median sales price:  $274,500                            

Number of homes sold:  89                                  

Days on market:             29

The lowest sales price was $176,000; highest was $499,000.


Median list price:        $269,700

Median sales price:    $266,750

Number of homes sold:  80

Days on market:             33

Median prices are up 2.9% over 2015, and sellers are virtually getting their asking price.  More homes sold in 2016, and in a bit shorter period of time.  

For reference, 2013 median sales price was $249,500 and in 2014, it was $236,500.  Sales prices up 10% since 2013!  That is reassuring to sellers as they are building equity; buyers can feel comfortable purchasing in a neighborhood gaining value.  

As of this posting,  there are just three homes for sale in Armour Hills, with a median list price of $315,000 and 16 days on market.

(All figures taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed)

KC Restaurant Week Jan 13-22, 2017

registerheader-h1During the holidays, you can stuff yourself with tasty home cooked meals and special treats.  Now it’s January…and time to eat more during KC Restaurant Week!

KC Restaurant Week is a benefit for three local organizations:  Boys Grow, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired and Cultivate Kansas City.  Participating restaurants donate a portion of money collected from each meal to these groups.  Each eatery offers  a special lunch ($15) and dinner ($33) during the ten day event.  This is the best way to try new restaurants in all parts of the metro area.  Just scrolling through the website, looking at all the artfully plated food will stir up cravings!

Reservations are highly recommended through Open Table.  This year, 143 restaurants are participating.  I’ve listed the Brookside/Waldo restaurants below:

Avenues Bistro

Charlie Hooper’s Bar and Grille

Michael Forbes Bar and Grille

Waldo Pizza

The Well

Thank you for supporting locally owned businesses during KC Restaurant Week!

JFS Opens 2cd Location in Brookside East

Happy New Year and welcome 2017!  What changes will the new year bring for our Brookside/Waldo neighborhood?  Last year I wrote several posts about the emerging Brookside East corridor along E 63rd St.  And the first blog of 2017 will  to tell you about a non profit  opening in this hip small business area.  Jewish Family Services, or JFS, is expanding its services to Brookside East, scheduled to open January 17 at 425 E 63rd St.


JFS actually started as a support system for immigrants 115 years ago. You may be familiar with their main building at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, and they also started Menorah Hospital. They chose Brookside East as a second location to deliver better access to clients who live in this area and rely on bus transportation. This building also allows for a much larger food pantry and extra space for growth.


jfsJFS is a non profit , United Way organization, funded by donations and grants. They offer several important services for the area: a food pantry, mental health counseling, chaplaincy, career services, emergency shelter referrals and assistance for older adults. Their mission is to support and strengthen lives throughout greater Kansas City regardless of faith, age, culture and all are welcome. (They also welcome volunteers!)


A unique aspect of this new location will be the artwork. Over 52 works of art have been donated by Rita Blitt, who designed the memorial for the Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse. Rita will have several paintings and one sculpture in the building.


JFS-Brookside East will have regular business hours of 8am-5pm Monday through Friday; the emergency hotline number 816 333 1172. They are planning a Grand Opening for the community after the building is open and the staff is settled in.