What I’ve Been Up To + Café Gratitude

Hello!  I wanted to pop in to share a little about where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.  As predicted, this summer has been super busy.  This long leave of absence was unintended. I had plans for this blog, to keep content flowing through the summer.  But then our new house became available for us to start working on nearly a month earlier than expected; so ever since the beginning of July, we’ve been knee-deep in renovations.  My daily routine looks something like this:  Wake up at 6, go to work, work on the house, finally eat dinner around 10:30, go to bed.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Tools | thevegancrew.com

We’ve run into a few snags along the way, but we’re (mostly) having a lot of fun turning the house into our home.  So far I’ve mastered wallpaper peeling, popcorn-ceiling removing, window-casing sanding (worst job ever) and drywall mudding (best job ever; there is something about floating the mud over the walls that feels strangely artistic to me and I’ve discovered that I LOVE it).

Patching Drywall | thevegancrew.com

Between now and the end of September we will be seeing things go back into the house.  Things like floors, cabinets, and a kitchen sink.  I’m super excited and so grateful.  I daydream constantly about the memories we will make and the friendships we’ll foster there.

When we closed on the house earlier this month, we thought, “What better way to celebrate than with closing-day cheesecake from Café Gratitude?” Once there and feeling famished, however, we decided to order a whole spread.  It was a welcome (and nourishing) change of pace after a month of sandwiches.

We started with the I am Present, bruschetta (if you aren’t familiar with Café Gratitude and its naming conventions, you can read more here).  The toasted ciabatta topped with tomatoes, cashew mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil is our go-to appetizer at Café Gratitude.  It was almost too pretty to eat!

I Am Present - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

Erik ordered the I am Sensational, spaghetti squash, spinach and mushrooms in an alfredo sauce and topped with Brazil nut parm and fresh herbs.  Ah-mazing.  It’s warm and comforting without being heavy.  After taking a bite, I wished that I had ordered the same — it is sure to be my new usual.

I Am Sensational - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my dish, the I am Fabulous.  This raw lasagne, filled with veggies, olive tapenade, pesto and drizzled with sun-dried marinara and cashew ricotta, is supposedly the reason Café Gratitude came to Kansas City.  It’s a light and flavorsome dish, perfect for a humid August night.

I Am Fabulous - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

We finished the meal with our closing-day cheesecake, the I am Blissful.  This dessert!  This was our second time having the silky chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, and it did not disappoint.

I Am Blissful - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

We left feeling satisfied and nourished, and with plenty to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for? - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

Before leaving, we checked out the daily question (they have a chalkboard featuring a daily question, and patrons can add their answers).  The question that day couldn’t have been more appropriate:  “What change are you celebrating?”

What Change are you Celebrating - Cafe Gratitude Kansas City | thevegancrew.com

I plan to be back sometime in September, as soon as the renovation is complete and we have had a chance to move and settle into our new home.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you.  What change are you celebrating?


  1. Molly says

    Congratulations on your house! How fun to be able to customize it!
    Cheesecake is definitely the way to celebrate! Everything looks so good, but I could really go for that bruschetta. (:

    • says

      Hi Meredith, and thanks! I knew it would be a lot of work, but I had no idea just how much work the demolition part would be (six weeks worth of demo — yikes!)! We’re trying to stretch each dollar as far as we can, but we are definitely paying professionals for almost all of the installations. I have no business trying to hang my own cabinetry! ;)

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