Is Luke. Have you ever seen anything so cute in your life?!?
A few highlights from the weekend in GB…
We had a great time at the Page family Christmas on Saturday. The cats ate my rice krispie treats off the porch (I think they really enjoyed them), Chris and I made it out of the white elephant gift exchange without any KU gear, and I got to participate in a real-life, family Christmas carol sing-along. I thought that was only in the movies…probably because I’ve never been part of a family as musically talented as the Pages! (No offense Gowers!)
On Monday we put on our purple and headed to Manhattan to watch the #12 basketball team in nation! It wasn’t a close game by any means, but the cats were still pretty entertaining…and I heard Frank even cracked a smile!!!
We celebrated Christmas on Tuesday with hot chocolate, Jefferson Elementary School cinnamon rolls, and lots of gifts…many of which were iTunes gift cards. It was an “iChristmas” for sure. And apparently I’m turning into my mom and mislabeling gifts because the bag that said “To Taylor” really should’ve been opened a few days later and labeled “To Luke”. It was just a few sizes too small for Taylor–but it made us all laugh really hard 🙂
The Calcara boys got a couple new high-tech toys that kept us very entertained…a new PS3 and a Wii. I’m almost embarrassed to say how sore I am from tennis and wake boarding on the Wii. Ouch!
The Calcara’s have a great family tradition that got us all in the kitchen preparing the holiday dinner. We’re all responsible for preparing some part of the meal and this year Chris and I had the “hearty cornbread” to go along with Melanie’s delicious white chili. Check out the picture…we even have personalized aprons! And that impressive raspberry peach pie below was prepared by Mark and Taylor. If you look closely you can see a little KSU school spirit in the middle of their masterpiece. But the best part was that it tasted as good as it looked.
I have always looked forward to the trips back to Chris’ hometown and this one was no different. I love the small town feeling, the warmth and coziness of the farm house and of course the wonderful people in it. I feel so lucky to have such amazing in-laws and I’m looking forward to many GB Christmases to come 🙂
I am finally retiring my cereal dinners. I might be having cereal for lunch now, but that’s beside the point…I’m actually cooking! I’ve always used the excuse that cooking for one was hard because you basically cook on Monday and then eat the leftovers for the rest of the week. Well, now I have a husband–a hungry husband! So I’ve made it my goal to try new recipes (which is pretty much all recipes because I’ve never made anything) each night. I like to keep things healthy so it’s actually been kind of fun “healthifying” traditional recipes and tricking Chris into thinking they’re the real thing:) For instance, on Tuesday night we had Hungry Girl’s Fettucini Alfredo made with a tofu noodle substitute. Actually that’s a really bad example because it was horrible…but still, Chris had no clue that he was eating tofu and not fettucini. Am I wrong for thinking that’s funny? Okay, a better example might be the mini pizzas I made on Sunday night…whole wheat english muffins, fat free mozzarella, tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni and some spices. Okay, so it’s no Julia Childs recipe but I bet you twenty bucks they were better than bagel bites!!! Anyway, I might use this blog to share good, healthy recipes that I come across through my culinary journey. I think I’m going to give the Cooper spinach & artichoke dip a try over the holidays…thanks Erica!
While I like to make our meals healthy, I’ve also come to realize that I really enjoy baking really fattening foods for other people 🙂 Chris’ Christmas party at work was on Tuesday and I baked my first batch of cupcakes from scratch…red velvet with cream cheese frosting–pictured below. Now, there is one small problem…I didn’t try these before I sent them to work with Chris (in my adorable little cupcake tote, courtesy of my wonderful cousin Lindsey!) For one, I knew how much butter and sugar went into those babies AND I also didn’t want to send 23 cupcakes. So when the cute little tote came home with 18 cupcakes I was pretty bummed. I still don’t know if it was my cooking ability (most likely) or the abundance of desserts at the party (I think Chris probably made that up to make me feel better), but I learned a very important lesson. Husbands are good for a lot of things and one of them is being the taste tester. I will never send food out my door without having Chris or myself try it first! But regardless of the way they might have tasted, they were SO darn cute!!!!
One AMAZING find I thought I’d share are these delectable no-pudge fudge brownies. I randomly came upon them at the local Shop n Save and now I’m obsessed. They are easy to make (just add yogurt and bake for 30 minutes) and they are absolutely delicious…oh and did I mention they are fat free and 100 calories each? YEAH!!!!
Okay, if there is anyone still reading this you are a saint! I will wrap this up with some pictures of my other holiday baking projects. These coconut cupcakes will be heading to Pratt with us on Saturday along with some classically good rice krispie treats. I will never make them as good as my mom does, but I’ll keep trying 🙂
Well, it’s official…I have never taken so many pictures of food in my entire life!!!
A good friend once told me, “blogs are facebook for married people”…so I decided that it was about that time! I must forewarn my readers (which is probably 3 of you, including my mom) that this is probably not going to be the most interesting blog you’ve ever read…or even one of the top 100. But wait, there’s more…I’m not a great writer and I use smiley faces WAY too much. I start sentences with “and” and you will find that there’s an ellipsis in almost everyone of those sentences. And yes, I did have to google “what do you call three periods in a row”. 🙂
So now that we’ve got that out of the way…I decided what better way to start our new blog than with a tour of the place that we now call home. I definitely never thought I would live in the state of Illinois (I don’t mean that in a bad way–I just never thought I’d leave Kansas), but I’ve actually become quite fond of the little town of Edwardsville. There are about 25,000 people in the city, so it’s got the charm of a small town but it’s big enough to where we only get a few “who the heck are you” looks when we walk into a restaurant or store. 🙂 So, without further ado…welcome to Edwardsville, IL! Enjoy the pictures because I looked like a total creep driving around with my camera out the window all day…
Let’s begin with my favorite street in town. The St. Louis Street Historic District is full of very old, very well-kept homes that just have so much character. The last picture is the house we almost bought–it had been completely flipped and oozed of charm and the old/antique look that I love so much; BUT, there were a few huge drawbacks…there was no garage, most of the rooms were in the basement (which could only be accessed through a super narrow staircase–not great for moving furniture), and after living in Prairie Village for 2 years I think I was just ready for a newer home. Although I think we would’ve loved it, I’m convinced we made the right choice 🙂
And then there’s the adorable little downtown. We ate at Bigelo’s on Friday night and really liked it. The food was good and the atmosphere is kind of Rock-A-Belly-esque, so of course I was sold.
Don’t worry, we have a few of the comforts of home too…
And here’s one of my favorite places. The YMCA is AMAZING…complete with a rock climbing wall, a skating rink and some pretty awesome cardio equipment. I now have a new obsession–the TREAD CLIMBER! I’ve always seen the commercials and wanted to try it…and now I’m getting twice the workout every morning 🙂
And at last, our home…
Alright, alright…that’s obviously not our house. Here is our humble abode…
Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. Life is wonderful in Edwardsville but we’re looking forward to heading back to the Land of Oz this weekend…Pratt, Great Bend, then Kansas City!!